(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Wild were having trouble with last place teams into Tuesday night’s match up against the Los Angeles Kings. After falling to the last place team in the Atlantic (Detroit) 5-2 on Saturday the Wild fell to the last place team in the Metropolitan (Philadelphia) as well on Monday night by a 7-4 final. That’s probably why facing the last place team in the Pacific (Los Angeles) wasn’t exactly calming anyone’s fears going into Tuesday’s showdown in St. Paul.
The Wild did get goals from Nino Niederreiter and Eric Staal to take a 2-1 lead late into the third but with 2:30 left in regulation Jeff Carter tied the game and forced overtime. In an exciting extra frame the Wild drew a penalty when Kings defenseman Drew Doughty got whisteled for goaltender interference but neither team scored so the game ended up in a shootout. Jason Zucker scored the only goal while goaltender Alex Stalock stopped all three shots he faced and the Wild ended up with a 3-2 shootout win in front of 19,017 at Xcel Energy Center.
Stalock was large in the shootout but also came up with 31 saves to net his first win since November 23rd. The win helps the Wild sweep all three games from the Kings in the season series as Los Angeles remains in the basement of the Western Conference with 40 points.
The win elevates the Wild to 23-20-3 on the season and their 49 points keeps them in the final Wild Card spot in the West and also moves them within a point of both Colorado and Dallas.
Up next the Wild continue their three game home stand on Thursday night when they host an Anaheim Ducks team that gave up three third period goals to Detroit on Tuesday to loss 3-1 and suffer their twelfth straight loss. The Ducks haven’t won since December 17th. The Wild lead the season series 1-0-0 with a 5-1 win in Anaheim on November 9th.