Kopitar, Walker lead Kings to 3-1 win over Wild
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anytime the Los Angeles Kings can get an early goal from Anze Kopitar and pair it with key saves from Jonathan Quick, it is usually going to result in a win.
That happened Tuesday night as Kopitar extended his point streak to four games and Quick made 27 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Kopitar and Sean Walker each had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Carter also scored for the Kings, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
"It was a good night for us. We started off fairly well and we were able to play with the lead," coach Todd McLellan said. "Quick was there for us and our penalty kill was outstanding."
Matt Dumba scored Minnesota's lone goal and Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots as the Wild finished a 2-2 road trip.
Kopitar lauded the Kings' defense and the play of Quick, who got his third win of the season. Quick surpassed 15,000 career saves, becoming the fifth U.S.-born goaltender to reach that milestone.
"Jonny has been like that for the past few games. It was more us in front of him; we were giving up grade-A chances and backdoor tap-ins," said Kopitar, who has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past four games.
The Wild were hoping to take advantage of the Kings' struggles killing penalties but couldn't. Los Angeles allowed two power-play goals in Montreal on Saturday night and was 30th in the NHL in penalty killing, but killed off all three Wild power-play opportunities.
"You've got to do two things on a power play: You've got to execute, and you've got to work the opposition," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "And I didn't think we did either. And when you don't do that, you certainty don't get the success and you don't get any shots."
Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead with goals off rebounds. Kopitar opened the scoring 70 seconds in when Dubnyk was unable to secure Walker's slap shot from near the blue line with his pads. Kopitar corralled the loose puck and knocked it in.
The Kings extended their lead to two midway through the second period when Carter knocked the puck into an open net after Ben Hutton's shot in traffic changed direction when it hit Michael Amadio's stick. It was Carter's fifth goal of the season and his first point in five games.
Minnesota got on the board at 15:40 of the second when Dumba scored for the second straight game. The defenseman got control of the puck at the blue line, side-stepped Carter and had his wrist shot from the right faceoff circle go in with a deflection off the far post.
Walker made it 3-1 on an empty-net goal with 47 seconds remaining in the third. It was the first multi-point game of Walker's career.
"We've just got to be a little more dialed in, a little sharper," Dumba said. "Pay attention to those details and hopefully we get a little bit better luck here. It puts a damper on the road trip, for sure."
NOTES: Kings LW Ilya Kovalchuk and LW Adrian Kempe were healthy scratches. General manager Rob Blake did not say whether Kovalchuk was being benched for an extended period. ... Dumba has scored in consecutive games for the first time since he had a goal in three straight Nov. 13-17 last season. ... The Wild fell behind 2-0 in each game on their road trip. ... Los Angeles had a 35-28 advantage in shots on goal. It was the Kings' 11th game this season with 35 or more shots after having 15 last season.
Wild: Return home to face Arizona on Thursday.
Kings: Continue their three-game homestand against Detroit on Thursday.