Los Angeles blew a two-goal, third-period lead, but Adrian Kempe’s second goal of the night with 11:57 left in regulation broke a tie, and the visiting Kings held on for a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night in Saint Paul, Minn.
After trailing 3-0 in the first and 6-4 after two, Minnesota got a third power-play goal courtesy of Mats Zuccarello (who also had two assists) just 5:56 into the third and a goal from Sam Steel less than two minutes later. However, Kempe’s third goal in three games came 31 seconds later to put the Kings back on top.
Kempe also had an assist, while former Wild forward Kevin Fiala recorded a goal with two assists and Anze Kopitar added three assists for the Kings, who managed a total of four goals in losing their first two games.
After allowing every goal in Minnesota’s opening 7-3 home loss to the New York Rangers, Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled for giving up four of the 14 shots he faced in the first period. Filip Gustavsson then stopped 17 of 20 shots in his Wild debut.
Los Angeles opened the scoring when Fiala slid a cross-slot pass for Kempe to convert at 4:28. Less than five minutes later, Gabriel Vilardi maneuvered the puck by Fleury. A little more than two minutes from there, Drew Doughty converted a one-timer for the Kings’ 3-0 lead.
The Wild cut it to 3-1 with 7:03 to play in the first, when Jacob Middleton’s slapper beat Los Angeles’ Cal Petersen (29 saves). Nearly four minutes later, Marcus Foligno flipped a backhander while falling to the ice.
L.A.’s Alex Iafallo drove a shot from the point by Fleury with 1:32 remaining in the first for a 4-2 lead.
Minnesota opened the second-period scoring when Joel Eriksson Ek drove home a net-front pass from Kirill Kaprizov just 5:25 in. Fiala came through on another Los Angeles power play from close range by Gustavsson with 10:49 remaining in the second.
The Wild struck on another power-play chance when Kaprizov beat Petersen with 7:48 left in the second for his first goal of the season. Less than a minute later, though, the Kings’ Matt Roy found the back of the net through traffic.
–Field Level Media