It is down to seven games remaining in the regular season for the Kings and they are holding a playoff spot, for the moment. The Flames play later on Sunday at Nashville. Until then, here are a few more takeaways from the Kings' 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday -- a lost chance to pick up some points in the Western Conference race.
New-look Wild… not really
Minnesota has been transformed by the addition of goalie Devan Dubnyk, who joined the Wild in mid-January, via a trade with Arizona.
The Kings had not played the Wild since Nov. 26, so this was the first time they experienced the Dubnyk Effect in Minnesota. He has recorded five shutouts with the Wild this season and his goals-against average is 1.70 since the trade.
“I don’t think the forwards or the defense are really playing much different than they did last year,” said Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr. “But I think they have more of a belief in their goaltending and he’s been maybe a more stabilizing influence because they’ve been using a lot of goalies, especially last year.
“Now, by getting Dubnyk, he’s playing really well for them and giving them confidence. It’s fun to play in front of a goaltender that’s like that. That’s probably the biggest difference for their team.”
Martin Jones was sharp in relief
Yes, backup goalie Martin Jones is still with the Kings. You see him working long and hard at practice, toiling away with the extra players on game-day skates.
This was the first time he appeared in a game since also playing in relief for Jonathan Quick at Winnipeg on March 1. Jones made nine saves, allowing the Wild’s power-play goal late in the third period, giving the Kings a legitimate shot at staying in it.
Anze Kopitar line shut down
It was the first time on this trip that Anze Kopitar’s line was neutralized, and it occurred at the hands of Mikko Koivu’s line. Koivu had a three-point night and right wing Nino Niederreiter scored twice for the Wild.
Kopitar’s five-game point scoring streak came to a halt and he was a minus-three. Linemate Marian Gaborik, formerly of the Wild, was a minus-two but had five shots on goal. Kopitar did not have any.
Other numbers to ponder: Defensemen Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin were each a minus-two. Also notable was the fact that the Kings forwards were credited with no hits in the opening period, in which the Wild took a 2-0 lead.
The only Kings registered a hit were defenseman Andrej Sekera (one) and Regehr (one), according to the official scoresheet.