Wild
Kings
2 - 1 Final
  for this game

Harding stands tall in net as Wild edge Kings

Dec 16, 2007 - 7:53 AM
By Joel Bergman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Wild completed their sweep through Southern California with a 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings in a penalty-filled contest on Saturday.

Josh Harding stopped 35 shots and came within 72 seconds of his fourth career shutout as he posted his second victory in as many nights for the Wild, who defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 5-2, on Friday and completed their road trip with a 3-2-0 mark.

"We needed a goalie that will give us a chance to win, and that's what we've had these past few games," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said.

The teams combined for 12 penalties in the second period of this one and 18 total for the game. Minnesota went 1-for-8 with the man advantage, while Los Angeles did not capitalize on any of its eight power plays.

The Wild jumped to a 1-0 lead early in the first period. Defenseman Kim Johnsson had the puck in the right corner of his own zone and saw Marian Gaborik free at center ice.

Johnsson sent a crisp pass to the Slovakian, who skated down the right side on a breakaway. Gaborik fired a wrist shot from 20 feet out over the right shoulder of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin for his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 3:48 of the first.

"I think that they (the Kings) thought that the play was going to be stopped for icing, and we got some speed on them," Gaborik said. "I went in and got it up high on him (Aubin)."

The Kings came close to tying the game near the 11-minute mark of the period on a shorthanded breakaway by Michal Handzus. But the veteran center fired a wrist shot on which Harding with an excellent glove save 30 seconds into Minnesota's power play.

The Wild doubled their lead on a 5-on-3 power play at 6:06 of the second period.

After a string of penalties, Los Angeles was whistled for a bench minor for having too many men on the ice at 4:54. Just 45 seconds later, Anze Kopitar was sent to the penalty box for holding, giving the Wild a two-man advantage.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster sent the puck from the right point to Brian Rolston high in the left slot. Rolston fired a slap shot from 40 feet out that beat Aubin to the stick side through traffic for his 11th goal of the season.

"That 5-on-3 was big," Rolston said. "Parry (Mark Parrish) did a good job of screening their goalie. Their goaltender couldn't see the puck, and we capitalized on that."

Los Angeles finally broke through with 72 seconds left in the game, when defenseman Rob Blake tallied his second goal of the season. With Aubin pulled for an extra skater, Michael Cammalleri fired a shot from the point that was deflected in front by Blake past a screened Harding to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Although Harding lost his chance at shutouts during the final minutes of both Friday's and Saturday's contests, he didn't feel upset.

"The important thing for me is that the team got a win," Harding said. "For me, it's the team first and personal accomplishments after that. I knew I had to come up with a couple of good saves and get the confidence back in the team."

The Kings outshot the Wild in each period, but Harding made 12 saves in the first, 13 in the second and 10 in the third to keep Los Angeles at bay.

"Goaltending is everything", Wild assistant captain Brian Rolston said. "He's been fabulous for the past two games."

An animated Kings coach Marc Crawford felt that there wasn't much difference between a winning and losing effort.

"There is a minuscule difference between getting a frustrating loss like this and having a rewarding win," Crawford said. "Maybe it takes a few frustrating losses like this to turn it around for us."

Aubin finished with 22 saves for the Kings, who have lost three straight games. With the loss and the Phoenix Coyotes victory in New Jersey Saturday, Los Angeles sank into the Western Conference cellar with 26 points








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1 0 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 12 (KIM JOHNSSON, MARTIN SKOULA) 3:48
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRIAN ROLSTON 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 6:06
    3RD PRD: LOS - ROB BLAKE 2 (MIKE CAMMALLERI, PATRICK O'SULLIVAN)
    18:48
    POWER

    Dec 16 1:06 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    LOS ANGELES 1
    3RD PRD: LOS - ROB BLAKE 2 (MIKE CAMMALLERI, PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 18:48

    Wild vs. KingsDec 16 1:03 AM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild vs. KingsDec 16 1:03 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 12 (KIM JOHNSSON, MARTIN SKOULA) 3:48
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRIAN ROLSTON 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 6:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----


    Dec 16 12:13 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRIAN ROLSTON 11 (KURTIS FOSTER, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 6:06 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Wild vs. KingsDec 15 11:45 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    LOS ANGELES 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 12 (KIM JOHNSSON, MARTIN SKOULA) 3:48

    Wild vs. KingsDec 15 10:45 PM