Kings squander third-period lead, lose to Wild, 3-2

It was all going so well until the brother-in-law got involved.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was picking up right where he left off the other day, looking sharp, poised and on his game, even if all of his teammates weren't quite along for the ride Monday at Staples Center.

Then Minnesota forward Matt Moulson, who is Quick's brother-in-law and a former teammate, got opportunistic and sparked a third-period rally by the Wild as Minnesota beat the Kings, 3-2, scoring twice in a span of 1 minute 2 seconds. The goals by Moulson and forward Mikko Koivu led to the Kings' first loss in seven games.


Justin Williams had a goal, his 19th, and an assist for the Kings, and defenseman Alec Martinez scored his 11th goal. Forward Marian Gaborik, acquired at the trading deadline, set up Williams' goal and has points in four straight games.


The Kings blew 1-0 and 2-1 leads. Williams made it 2-1 at 11:49 of the second period.

"It simply wasn't good enough," Williams said. "We've had a tendency this last week or so to be giving up leads in the third period and that's very very uncharacteristic of us. We need to rectify that these last five, six games because we're a team that shuts it down once we get the lead."

Moulson's wife is the sister of Quick's wife and he was asked what it was like to score against his brother-in-law.

"It's always good to score a goal," said Moulson, a former King. "He's stopped me a lot more than I've scored on him and also has a couple trophies that I don't have. So I don't think I can do too much bragging."

And so, the Kings' magic number to clinch a playoff spot stayed at five and they remain two victories from tying a club record for victories in a season.

They've won 44 games and the franchise mark is 46.

There were some parallels to the last game the Kings lost, to Phoenix on March 17. That featured a blown lead in the third period as well. This season, the Kings are 25-2-0 when leading after two periods. The two losses came against the Coyotes and the Wild, two teams that are fighting for a playoff spot.

"We let our game slip a little bit in the third and we've got to be a stronger hockey club, make better plays toward the end of the game," Martinez said. "Good teams close out other teams and we didn't do that tonight."

One issue is that the Kings are in Pacific Division limbo, essentially locked in third place with nowhere to go.

"I guess it's tough in a way," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "But we can't be thinking about that. We have to make sure we are still battling for a spot. The main thing is we want to be playing really good hockey going into the playoffs.

"If we ever slack at any point, even though we know we'll be in that third spot, it's going to make our game go downhill. That's kind of what happened tonight. That second period, they played very very desperate and we didn't. They brought the momentum on their side and kind of took it to us."

The Kings were without forward Dwight King, who sat out because of an unspecified injury, believed not to be serious.

Rob Blake, Kings assistant general manager, said that King was sore from the previous game, the Kings' victory over Winnipeg on Saturday.

Twitter: @reallisa