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Continued: Kuemper, Niederreiter shine in Wild's shootout win over Los Angeles

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 8, 2014 - 6:41 AM

Ravaged by injury, the Wild dressed eight players 23 or younger, including five 21 or younger.

It was an impressive performance by Kuemper, especially considering he was pulled in his only previous Wild start this season in Toronto and had given up six goals on 16 shots in two appearances. Those efforts had given many fans reason to question his future the past two months.

“This was a chance to redeem myself,’’ Kuemper said. “My game is where I want it to be right now.”

Kuemper, the 2010-11 Canadian Hockey League Goalie of the Year and Western Hockey League Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year, has gotten his game together in Iowa.

Before getting hurt Dec. 20, Kuemper had been one of the three stars in seven of his past eight Iowa starts and saw his save percentage rise to .929, which is second in the American Hockey League.

Tuesday was Kuemper’s first game action in 2 ½ weeks and he showed no signs of rust.

“Kuemps stood on his head,’’ winger Matt Cooke said. “He was the difference.’’

 

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  • Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper makes a stick save against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Wild defenseman Keith Ballard, left, deflected a shot by Kings center Trevor Lewis, right, during the second period Tuesday night.

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