Wild falls to Kings in a shootout

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2007 - 4:34 PM

The Wild committed too many penalties and failed to match its 6-0 start of last year.

LOS ANGELES — Maybe the Wild was just ripe for a letdown.

Skating with an extra strut in its step after beating nemesis Anaheim two nights earlier to remain the NHL's lone undefeated squad, the Wild waltzed into the Staples Center on Tuesday night, faced the Western Conference's worst defensive team and fell flat on its face.

The Los Angeles Kings, in the middle of an ugly five-game slide, beat the Wild in a shootout 4-3, getting shootout goals from all three shooters: Dustin Brown, Mike Cammalleri and Anze Kopitar.

While the Wild got a point, it was another uncharacteristically undisciplined game.

This for a Wild team that's perennially so disciplined (it was shorthanded the fourth-fewest times last season).

Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom fell to 3-6 in shootouts, and the team failed to match its 6-0 start of last season.

The Wild gave the Kings nine power plays, with defenseman Brent Burns taking five minors. This came one game after handing Anaheim eight power plays.

With the Wild power play having a chance to give Minnesota a third-period lead, it not only fell to 1-for-22 on the season, Kopitar, a second-year forward, scored a shorthanded goal to give the Kings a 3-2 lead.

It was the first time in 17 regular-season starts that Backstrom gave up more than two goals.

However, only 86 seconds later, Brian Rolston tied the game at 3-3 with his signature slapshot.

Of course, that was going to happen because this thing was destined to go into overtime. Eight of the past 13 meetings between these two teams have gone past 60 minutes.

Despite the Wild skating well early, it didn't amount to an actual shot until 7 minutes, 23 seconds, into the first period when Marian Gaborik wheeled out of the corner to the top of the Kings zone and whipped a shot on net. Pavol Demitra popped in the rebound for his second goal of the season.

However, the Wild got itself into trouble late in the period when Burns inadvertently opened up Cammalleri's lip with a high stick. It resulted in a four-minute Los Angeles power play, but the Wild dug itself out of the hole with an exceptional penalty kill, including Nick Schultz saving the day twice.

Still, despite the Wild escaping, the Kings tied the score with 26.4 seconds left in the period on Scott Thornton's goal during a delayed penalty.

Wild coach Jacques Lemaire opened the second period by inserting Mikko Koivu in the middle of Rolston and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and the result was a go-ahead goal 43 seconds into the frame. Koivu matched a career-best four-game point streak with the goal.

But Los Angeles again rallied, this time after Cammalleri drew another minor from Burns, who might have the Kings' speedster in his nightmares. With Burns in the box for holding, Kyle Calder executed a nifty redirection of Brad Stuart's point shot that was heading wide.

  • LOS ANGELES 4, WILD 3 (SO) Up next: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Louis

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