Kings shred through Minnesota Wild in 6-0 shutout win

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Kings scored 6 goals on the second straight night to sweep their back-to-back.

For the second night in a row, Los Angeles found their team clicking on all cylinders. Goalie David Rittich got the start as Cam Talbot took a much-deserved rest after helping the Kings secure their 6-2 win over the Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

The squad wasted no time getting active, as Phillip Denault put Los Angeles out in front just 5 minutes into the opening period. 10 minutes later, Kevin Fiala cashed in on a Kings’ power play for his 23rd goal of the season. Less than two minutes after Fiala’s score, Viktor Arvidsson scored his very first of the campaign to give Los Angeles their third goal in the first. The second period would be filled with no action from either side as Rittich held things down in front of the net to keep the Kings in the lead.

They headed to the third with their 3-0 advantage before the lead would eventually double. Just 28 seconds into the third, Matt Roy scored his 4th of the season to make it 4-0. Jordan Spence would then get in on the action with the Kings’ second power-play goal of the night. The cherry on top was Anze Kopitar’s 23rd goal of the season, and Los Angeles moved to 2-0 on their home stand with a dominant all-around victory.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Arvidsson returns from injury in stylish fashion

After playing in the first 4 games of the 2023-2024 season, Viktor Arvidsson was sidelined with a lower-body injury. It kept him out for quite some time, but he was finally able to make his return to the ice on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. It must have been a long-awaited feeling for the 30-year-old, who appeared in 77 games for the team last season and contributed 59 total points. While he won’t end up producing the same stats this year, there’s certainly still a chance for him to make an impact for the Kings down the stretch. He welcomed himself back into the lineup with a bang against Minnesota, delivering his first goal of the season in the first period.

Arvidsson found a little magic late in the opening period as his shot deflected off of Minnesota defenseman Dakota Mermis and found its way into the net. Later on in the game, he collected his second point via an assist on the score from Anze Kopitar that made it a 6-0 game. In total, he managed to see 15:42 of ice time during the return. It will be interesting to observe how Los Angeles works him back into the fold as they do their best to keep him healthy and contributing at a high level. Nonetheless, it was a great return game for Arvidsson and his efforts went a long way in the W.

David Rittich comes through with clean shutout

With Cam Talbot delivering a solid performance in Tuesday’s win over the Blackhawks, his fellow goalie David Rittich managed to one-up him on Wednesday. Making his 19th start of the season, he made things very hard for Minnesota. He provided a flurry of impressive saves as the Wild could not score on any of their 31 shots. It seems as if Rittich has hit his stride recently, with the shutout being his third of the season and all of them coming in his last 10 starts.

He boosted his record to 11-5-3 this year and has gone 2-1 so far in the month of March. If the Kings’ backup goalie can continue to play his best hockey of the year down the stretch, he will put Los Angeles in a great position to keep gaining ground in the Western Conference and securing a solid playoff spot. He surely made the most of his opportunity on Wednesday and shut down a Minnesota Wild team that had won 6 of their last 8 games coming into the contest.

Kopitar has 2-point night to reach 1,200 points

By this point in his career, Kings fans should be used to hearing that captain Anze Kopitar has reached another impressive milestone. After getting his 1,199th career point in the team’s win over Chicago, he stood just one point away from 1,200. It didn’t take him very long at all to reach the milestone as his assist on Kevin Fiala’s first-period goal got him across the finish line.

Kopitar is now just the second player in franchise history to record 1,200 points, as he joins the likes of Marcel Dionne. He is one of just 4 players in NHL history born outside of the United States to collect 1,200 points with one single team (alongside Alex Ovechkin, Stan Mikita, and Evgeni Malkin). The assist was also the 785th of his career, tying Matt Sundin for the 38th-most assists in NHL history. Even after the history-making assist, Kopitar was not done helping the Kings on their way to victory. He scored a goal of his own late in the third period to give him his 23rd of the season and career point 1,201.

With the score, his 1,201 points were good enough to surpass Dino Ciccarelli for sole possession of 51st place on the all-time points list. It was yet another night of milestones and shifts up the record books for the captain, who continues to prove his timeless ability to serve as the Kings’ leader. His efforts helped them to grab their second win in 2 days, with a total scoring margin of 12-2 in favor of Los Angeles.

They will now have a couple of days off before returning to action on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It will be the final contest of the three-game home stand for the Kings, and they will look to make it a clean sweep against a red-hot Lightning team. Tampa Bay currently holds the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and is riding a 4-game winning streak. With another game against the Sharks in San Jose before they head to Los Angeles, Tampa Bay could very well extend that streak to 5. It should be a fun battle between two teams who have scored the puck at a high clip recently.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. PT.