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Wild recover to defeat Kings in shootout

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild avoided a third straight loss with a 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Alex Stalock made 31 saves, and Nino Niederreiter and Eric Staal scored for the Wild (23-20-3), who were coming off a 7-4 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

“Any win right now is big,” Stalock said. “We’ve got a break looming in four games. That means we’re not playing for seven days and teams are picking up points, so these next four are games where we have to pick up points. It started tonight.”

 

[WATCH: All Kings vs. Wild highlights]

 

Jason Zucker scored the only goal in the shootout.

Kings center Jeff Carter tied the game 2-2 with 2:30 remaining after Stalock made the save on Adrian Kempe‘s redirection of a Tyler Toffoli shot from the high slot.

Video: LAK@MIN: Carter buries loose puck past Stalock

Ilya Kovalchuk scored, and Jonathan Quick made 40 saves for Los Angeles (18-25-4), which has lost five of its past seven games, scoring two goals or fewer in each of the losses.

“I thought [Quick] got us that point. Simple as that,” Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said. “Without him in the net, could have been 8-1, I don’t know. He stood on his head and he’s the reason we got the point.”

Staal redirected a shot by Ryan Suter at 7:13 of the third period to give the Wild a 2-1 lead.

Video: LAK@MIN: Staal redirects shot past Quick

Niederreiter put Minnesota ahead 1-0 with a wrist shot through traffic from the top of the right face-off circle at 10:16 of the second period. It was his second goal in three games following a 12-game drought.

“At the end of the day, you try to go out there and do the best you can do,” Niederreiter said. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m glad it worked out tonight.”

Kovalchuk scored off the rebound of a Dustin Brown shot to tie it 1-1 at 16:03.

“I thought we were probably lucky to get a point,” Carter said. “We had a slow start. [The Wild] 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.”

 

They said it

“[Jonathan Quick has] been on his game lots this year. He’s a good goaltender. We rely on him a little bit too much, but he made some big saves, for sure. The game could have got away on us a little bit, but we do depend on him that way.” — Kings coach Willie Desjardins

 

“I feel that [we] deserved it. There’s so many times in the last month that [our team] played so well and they haven’t got anything from it. It accentuates the couple times they’ve played real bad. I didn’t see just the two games [a 4-0 loss at the Boston Bruins on Jan. 8 and a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 12]. Other than that, they’ve competed really, really hard, and hopefully, and I pretty well know, they’ll do that more times than they won’t.” — Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on being rewarded with a win

Video: LAK@MIN: Niederreiter scores through traffic

 

Need to know

It was Staal’s first goal since he scored in a 5-2 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 27, ending a nine-game drought. … It was Stalock’s first win in five games (four starts) against the Kings (1-2-1). … Suter has three points (one goal, two assists) in a three-game point streak.

 

What’s next

Kings: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Wild: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Video: Zucker scores shootout winner as Wild beat Kings, 3-2

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