Kings win in Minnesota with wild comeback

The main issue for Jeff Carter upon his return from injury was how long it would take to get his timing back.

He was sidelined for four months because of a leg laceration, and no amount of practice could make up for NHL pace. Nearly a month back into it, Carter said he’s still not there yet.

“We’re still working at that,” he said.

But Carter’s timely goals have helped keep the Kings in the playoff chase. His second goal of the game Monday night gave the Kings a 4-3 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild.


Carter, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown combined for the tying and winning goals. In overtime, Carter wristed in Adrian Kempe’s rebound with 33.8 seconds showing on the clock and the Kings won after coughing up a 2-0 lead.

Brown tipped Doughty’s shot with 47 seconds to play in regulation and Carter secured two points for the Kings with his eighth goal in 12 games since his return last month.

“The puck just finds that guy,” Doughty said. “It’s unbelievable. ... He’s scored almost every game he’s been in ... since he’s got back. He’s a goal scorer. He does it every single night.”

Carter and Kempe were paired together because Trevor Lewis left the game because of an upper-body injury. The Carter-Kempe duo was dynamic, especially late, and the deciding goal happened when Kempe drove to the net.

“I think he plays a game real similar to me where it’s get the puck and go,” Carter said. “You saw it in overtime there. He got the puck. He’s going to the net. That’s a big-time power move that he made there. A big win for us.”

Minnesota was on the verge of giving coach Bruce Boudreau his 500th win when fourth-line center Joel Eriksson Ek scored at 17:39 of the third period for a 3-2 lead. The Kings pulled Jonathan Quick for an extra attacker and work by Brown, Carter and Tyler Toffoli hemmed in Minnesota before Doughty found time to send the puck on net.

It was the Kings’ seventh goal this season in six-on-five play, tied for the second-most in the NHL. Coach John Stevens called a timeout beforehand, with 78 seconds remaining, and joked that “we drew it up exactly as we pulled it off.”

Added Stevens: “Those guys have done a really good job in that situation all year, so it was just a matter of getting everybody reset.”

Stevens scratched Minnesota Duluth product Alex Iafallo in favor of Andy Andreoff and Andreoff played for the first time since Feb. 22. The Kings almost lost Duluth-born Derek Forbort when Forbort was struck by the skate of Zach Parise, but Forbort returned with his ear patched up.

Tanner Pearson scored in the first period. Carter’s first goal was a redirect of Jake Muzzin’s shot on the power play.



When: 5 PDT.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.

Update: Patrik Laine, 19, is tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 43 goals and is trying to become the first teenager to lead the NHL in goals outright. He is on a 15-game point streak.

Follow Curtis Zupke on Twitter @curtiszupke