Kings Somehow Lose to a Shorthanded Wild
Logic would dictate that the Kings would skate away with a resounding victory against the Minnesota Wild, but little about this Kings team follows the dictates of logic. They lost to the shorthanded Wild 2-1 in the shootout.
The Minnesota Wild came into town hurting. Their two top scorers Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu are on the injured reserve. Backup goaltender Josh Harding is also on IR, and their normal starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom was scratched with abdominal soreness. Their starting goaltender for the game, Darcy Kuemper, gave up six goals in the 16 shots he faced this season.
Thus with the Kings relatively healthy, of course it was logical the Kings would lose.
For two periods the Kings made an apparently healthy Kuemper work hard peppering him with 30 shots. Jonathan Quick only had to face nine shots in those 40 minutes, yet the game was still scoreless after two periods.
This had all of the makings of the Kings playing down to an opponent. Nothing highlighted this more than the final two minutes of the second period where the Kings could not clear the puck from their zone. Fortunately for the Kings, the Wild were not what you would consider to be offensive juggernauts on this night.
Although the Jarret Stoll put the Kings on the scoreboard first in the first minute of the third period, it was Nino Niederreiter who tied the game a couple of minutes later and scored the lone goal in the shootout.
"It's just a matter of putting the puck in the net and capitalizing on our opportunities," Stoll said after the game.
If only things were that simple. The Kings outshot the Wild 40-17 but only have one goal to show for it.
"Maybe have a better mindset, a better mentality," Stoll said on what needs to be done. "Start bearing down in practice and putting the pucks through the net as opposed to just getting shots."
Kuemper was happy with his 39 saves. "Obviously it was a chance to redeem myself and my game is definitely where I want it to be right now," Kuemper said. "I’ve been working on it a lot and playing good down there [in the AHL] so I tried not to change anything when I came up here and it worked out pretty good tonight."
Remember in his only two appearances this season he let in six goals on 16 shots. The Kings only got one goal in on 40 shots.
The Kings have now lost six of their last seven games.