Wild starts strong but loses a shootout to Kings

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2013 - 8:51 AM

Goalie Jonathan Quick made 27 saves and kept the game close with the Wild swarming, paving the way for the Kings’ shootout victory in the season opener.

 

With a minute left in Thursday night’s season opener, Torrey Mitchell sent a puck to the goalmouth and chaos ensued as Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cooke tried to bury the potentially winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings.

A pile of bodies collapsed around the crease. Slava Voynov blocked one shot, Trevor Lewis another. Pucks slid off sticks, deflecting everywhere but behind elastic all-world goalie Jonathan Quick.

“There were like eight guys crawling in the crease,” said Cooke, who had previously scored on his first shift in a Wild sweater. “The puck keeps bouncing back to us, but we can’t really get a clean shot. I thought we had it.”

The Wild scored twice in the first period and held the 2012 Stanley Cup winners to 11 shots through two. Yet somehow, the Wild’s string of 11 consecutive home-opening victories ended when the opportunistic Kings forced overtime with a third-period goal to eventually seize the extra point in a 3-2 shootout win.

“The old shootout, eh?” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “It’s funny what that extra point makes you feel at the end of the game.”

The Wild felt it deserved better, and signs of improvement were there.

In the first 40 minutes, Wild forwards crashed the blue paint. The defensemen jumped into the play and the Wild generated continuous speed through the middle. Defensively, the Wild gave up next to nothing, other than Drew Doughty’s power-play one-timer past a screened Niklas Backstrom.

In fact, the Wild routinely forced the Kings to cough up pucks. Yet every time, especially in the second, Quick — always the contortionist — closed the door.

Zach Parise, for one, was blanked on eight shots.

“The finish wasn’t there,” Parise said. “Opportunities, you’ve got to put them in. You can’t let a team like that hang around. They’re very comfortable playing in tight games.”

Jonas Brodin gave the Wild a 2-1 lead on a first-period power play, but the Wild’s power play couldn’t convert its final three. The momentum killer was the middle one. The Wild couldn’t get set up, the Kings killed it and took control, starting to pressure before eventually tying the score at 2-2 on Jeff Carter’s tally with 6:46 left.

After a bland overtime, Parise and Mikko Koivu couldn’t beat Quick, and Anze Kopitar and Carter sliced and diced Backstrom in the shootout.

Still, reason for optimism: “We played hard, we played physical, we carried the pace of play,” Cooke said.

Nino Niederreiter had a solid debut, taking three first-period shots and setting up Brodin’s goal after digging the puck from the wall. Brodziak, looking to have a bounce-back year, was strong on the penalty kill and constantly hounded the puck at even strength. The 22-goal scorer of two years ago created multiple scoring chances.

And, as Yeo said: “I liked the way we defended. We were frustrating, hard to play against. It was tough for them to get ice, to get to our zone. That allowed us to go back at them a lot.”

Yeo did feel that starting late in the second, the Wild — particularly the second line of Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Dany Heatley, who had a strong first period — stopped putting pucks to the net.

“That’s what a goalie like Quick can do to you,” Yeo said. “You start all of a sudden looking for the perfect play and forget how we scored.”

Cooke, the longtime Vancouver Canuck, scored 64 seconds in when Brodziak threw a puck through the crease and it deflected in off Cooke’s skate. So one of the most reviled Wild opponents of all time was serenaded with a loud ovation by the Wild faithful one shift into his Minnesota career.

Unexpected, to say the least.

“I felt good in a green uni,” Cooke said.









 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 12:05 PM
St. Louis
Washington 12:05 PM
Atlanta
Miami 12:05 PM
Boston
Minnesota 12:05 PM
Tampa Bay
NY Yankees 12:05 PM
Philadelphia
Baltimore 12:07 PM
Toronto
Detroit 12:10 PM
NY Mets
Cincinnati 2:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles 2:05 PM
Milwaukee
San Francisco 2:05 PM
Texas
Chicago WSox 2:05 PM
San Diego
Kansas City 2:05 PM
Cleveland
Seattle 2:05 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 2:10 PM
LA Angels
Oakland 2:10 PM
Arizona
Pittsburgh 6:05 PM
NY Yankees
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Orlando
Utah 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Miami 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 6:30 PM
Detroit
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 11:00 AM
Char Southern
Ark-Pine Bluff 11:00 AM
Miss Valley St
Southern Ill 12:05 PM
Wichita State
Winthrop 1:00 PM
Radford
Evansville 2:35 PM
Illinois State
Towson 5:00 PM
Elon
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
High Point
Samford 5:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Ball State
Bowling Green 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Brown 6:00 PM
Dartmouth
Toledo 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Akron 6:00 PM
Kent State
Ill-Chicago 6:00 PM
Oakland
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Ohio
Columbia 6:00 PM
Penn
Cornell 6:00 PM
Princeton
Central Mich 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bradley 6:05 PM
Northern Iowa
Morehead State 6:30 PM
Murray State
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 10:00 AM
(21) George Washington
Wake Forest 10:00 AM
(16) Duke
Furman 10:00 AM
(17) Chattanooga
Monmouth 11:00 AM
Quinnipiac
Michigan State 11:30 AM
(4) Maryland
Belmont 12:00 PM
UT Martin
Arkansas 12:00 PM
(3) South Carolina
Mercer 12:30 PM
East Tenn St
Richmond 1:00 PM
Fordham
Miami-Florida 1:00 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Siena 1:30 PM
Iona
Washington St 1:30 PM
(9) Arizona State
Ark-Pine Bluff 1:30 PM
Miss Valley St
(23) Rutgers 1:55 PM
(24) Northwestern
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Loyola Marymount 2:00 PM
Gonzaga
(18) Texas A&M 2:25 PM
LSU
Cincinnati 3:00 PM
UCF
Saint Josephs 3:30 PM
Dayton
UCLA 4:00 PM
(19) Stanford
Santa Clara 4:30 PM
San Diego
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
(7) Florida State
SMU 5:00 PM
Memphis
Lehigh 5:05 PM
Holy Cross
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Duquesne
North Florida 6:00 PM
(20) Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Stetson
Nebraska 6:00 PM
(14) Iowa
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Marist
Navy 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Lafayette 6:00 PM
American Univ
Colgate 6:00 PM
Army
Georgia 6:00 PM
(5) Tennessee
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
Brown
Penn 6:00 PM
Columbia
(13) Princeton 6:00 PM
Cornell
Kansas 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Harvard 6:00 PM
Yale
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close