The night started off pretty typically for the Los Angeles Kings. It was the usual slow start while the other team, in this case the Minnesota Wild, buzzed around them in circles and applied early pressure.
The Wild caught a fortunate break when Matt Cooke redirected the puck with his skate into the net that was deemed a good goal. It was a bit of a controversial call as Cooke appeared to be moving his foot forward in the overhead view.
Six minutes into the first, Zenon Konopka cleared the puck over the glass and sat for 2 minutes. Drew Doughty capitalized on a beautiful one timer from Slava Voynov while Dustin Brown provided a screen. A few minutes later, Colin Fraser was called for boarding and got into a scrap with Keith Ballard. Both served a 5 minute fighting major and the Wild were unable to score on their first power play of the night. Shortly after Fraser’s penalty expired, Nino Niederreiter took a hooking penalty. The Kings were unable to do much with this power play as the Wild successfully killed off that penalty. Almost immediately after the power play, Kyle Clifford took a took a boarding call and this time, their PK unit was unable to withstand pressure and the Jonas Brodin sniped a beautiful goal just over Jonathan Quick’s shoulder, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Wild.
The second period saw more of the same efforts from both teams until the last couple minutes when captain Dustin Brown was reunited with his linemates Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Brown had originally started the night on the third line as he missed all of training camp due to an injury and was still working himself back into game shape.
Finally, in the third period the Kings showed signs of life. The Kings were buzzing in the Wild end and the pressure paid off as Jeff Carter tapped in a rebound goal to tie the score at 2 a piece. They weathered some late pressure from the Wild on a power play with forward Trevor Lewis playing backup goalie to Jonathan Quick who had gotten caught out of position.
Five minutes of 4 on 4 OT couldn’t get the job done for either team and they went to a shootout.
Zach Parise was unable to score for his team while Anze Kopitar deked, fooled the goalie and slid the puck between his pads. Next up for the Wild was Mikko Koivu but he didn’t get much of a chance as Jonathan Quick made a great poke check to keep the Wild scoreless. Jeff Carter had a chance to put the game away and send his team home with two points. He made no mistake as he came in with good speed, froze the goalie and threw the puck top shelf stick side on his backhand all while making it look extremely easy (but that’s kind of his thing; he all makes it look so easy).
Tonight, the Kings look to build on their success after rallying against a tough opponent in the Minnesota Wild, who had never lost a home opener since its inception (11-0-1; the 1 was a tie back in 2002). They will be in Winnipeg for the Jets’ home opener and hope to return home with 2 more points in hand. The game will be broadcast on FSW with Bob and Jim calling the action; Daryl Evans and Nick Nickson are back on KTLK 1150am for the radio broadcast. The puck drops at 8pm EDT.