Kings score seven goals to earn first victory in wild one over Minnesota
Adrian Kempe’s second goal of the night broke a tie in the third period as the Kings recovered after giving up a two-goal lead and beat the Minnesota Wild 7-6 Saturday night for their first win of the season.
Kevin Fiala added a goal and two assists in his return to Minnesota. Gabriel Vilardi, Drew Doughty, Alex Iafallo and Matt Roy also scored for the Kings, starting a five-game road trip. Cal Petersen stopped 29 shots.
“I haven’t been in a game like that I don’t think in my career,” Petersen said. “I’m glad I can check that one off the box with a win. Hopefully never have to win one like that again.”
Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists and Kirill Kaprizov scored his first goal of the season for Minnesota, which has allowed 14 goals in losing its first two games. Jake Middleton, Marcus Foligno, Joel Eriksson Ek and Sam Steel also scored.
“Sometimes we play defense like we’re a junior team,” Zuccarello said. “It’s the whole team. We’ve got to sharpen up.”
Alex Iafallo scored and Jonathan Quick stopped 18 shots as the Kings remained winless on the season in the 4-1 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.
Filip Gustavsson made 17 saves — and added an assist — after replacing Marc-Andre Fleury to start the second period. Fleury gave up four goals on 14 shots in the first.
Zuccarello and Steel scored less than two minutes apart to tie the score 6-all in the third, but Kopitar found Kempe charging down the slot and his shot bested Gustavsson at 8:03 of to silence a suddenly raucous capacity crowd.
Thirteen Wild players and 11 Kings had points in the highest scoring game of the young NHL season.
A casualty of Minnesota’s salary cap issues, Fiala was traded to Los Angeles in the offseason after establishing career highs in goals (33), assists (52) and points (85) while playing in every Wild game last season. In 215 games with Minnesota, Fiala had 79 goals and 107 assists, both team bests in that span.
He and linemates Kempe and Kopitar combined for nine points as the top-line trio continues to mold into a unit. They had a combined two assists in the first two Kings games, both losses.
Showing their potential prowess on a second-period power play, Kopitar passed to Kempe in the slot. His touch pass went to Fiala, who beat Gustavsson on a one-timer for a 5-3 lead.
For the first time in years, the Kings are out of their rebuild stage as they look to chisel a clear path to becoming Stanley Cup contenders.
Kaprizov scored on the power play three minutes later to get the Wild within one, but a wrister from Roy went through a screen and found the net less than a minute later to restore a two-goal cushion.
Kempe, Vilardi, Doughty and Iafallo scored in the first period as the Kings opened a 4-2 lead. Middleton and Foligno scored the Wild goals.
No Minnesota defender was nearby on the Kings’ first three goals and Iafallo’s slap shot handcuffed an unscreened Fleury late leading to Wild fans booing their team off the ice after the first period for the second straight game.
In four periods, Fleury, who had 10 saves, has allowed 11 goals on 49 shots with a .775 save percentage.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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