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Kings score late to earn a point before falling to Wild in OT shootout – Daily News

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On a night when they were not at their best, the Kings managed to salvage a point.

In a season of endless struggles, it’s something.

Jason Zucker scored on a backhanded attempt in a shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Kings on Tuesday night.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game we’ve ever played,” Zucker said, “but we did what we had to do. We battled. I thought we were skating pretty well.”

It was Zucker’s first career shootout goal in five tries. Zucker was the only shooter from either team to convert.

Nino Niederreiter and Eric Staal scored for the Wild, who had lost their previous two games.

Ilya Kovalchuck and Jeff Carter scored for the Kings, who came into the game tied with Ottawa for the fewest points in the league.

Carter scored with 2:30 left in the third period to tie the game for the Kings, who fell behind twice only to tie the score and stayed in the game thanks to a 40-save performance from goalie Jonathan Quick.

“I thought Quickie got us that point, simple as that,” veteran defenseman Alec Martinez told LAKings.com. “Without him in the net, it could’ve been 8-1. He stood on his head and was the reason we got the point.”

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Kings interim coach Willie Desjardins echoed those thoughts.

“We rely on (Quick) a little bit too much, but he made some big saves, for sure,” Desjardins said. “The game could have got away on us a little bit, but we do depend on him that way.”

Carter thought the Kings missed an opportunity to pounce on a team that played a road game the night before, adding that they were fortunate to send the game to overtime after a sluggish start.

“I thought we were probably lucky to get a point,” Carter said. “We had a slow start. They played last night. They traveled last night. We had a slow start. We got it to overtime, which was good. We showed some battle and got back, but probably not our best game.”

Staal’s goal 7:13 into the third period gave the Wild a 2-1 lead until Carter tied it about 10 minutes later.

Niederreiter, who was dropped to the fourth line Tuesday, scored off a wrist shot at 10:16 of the second period to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. Niederreiter scored for the second time in three games after a 12-game goal drought.

“At the end of the day, you just go out there and try to do your best. It doesn’t matter what line you’re on,” Niederreiter said. “It just happened to work that way.”

Kovalchuk tied it on a rebound 16:03 into the second. Kovalchuck had gone 10 games without scoring.

Minnesota’s Ryan Suter threw a shot on goal at 7:13 in the third. It was deflected into an open net by Staal, bouncing off of his shin pad. It was the veteran center’s first goal in 10 games.

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