Jason Zucker scored a shootout goal and the Minnesota Wild ended a two-game losing streak Tuesday with a 3-2 victory that completed a season sweep over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. The Kings missed all three of their shots in the shootout, with Wild goaltender Alex Stalock saving two of them, while Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar hit the post on his attempt. Stalock sealed the victory with a save on a Dustin Brown wrist shot.
Eric Staal and Nino Niederreiter scored in regulation for the Wild, which had lost three of its last four games after opening the new year with three consecutive victories. The Kings' Jeff Carter tied the game at 2 with 2:30 remaining, while Ilya Kovalchuk added a second-period goal for Los Angeles, which lost for the sixth time in eight January games. After a scoreless first period, when the Wild led 14-8 in shots on goal, Niederreiter gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 10:16 of the second period with his ninth goal of the season.
Niederreiter picked up a loose puck behind the Kings goal, moved to the top of the right circle and fired a shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick with heavy traffic in front of the net. Less than four minutes later, the Kings got even when Kovalchuk scored his eight goal of the season. After Wild goaltender Alex Stalock stopped a shot by Brown from the top of the right circle, Kovalchuk pounced on the rebound for his first goal in his last 11 games. Staal gave the Wild a 2-1 lead with a goal that bounced off the inside of his leg after Ryan Suter fired the puck to the right side of the goal. Staal's redirection was his 14th goal of the season.
Carter delivered his 10th of the season inside of three minutes to go when he crashed the net and picked up a loose puck in front of Stalock and scored. Goaltender Jonathan Quick kept the Kings in the game, facing a barrage of quality Wild shots in the first two periods. Quick, who is back to top form after surgery for a torn meniscus earlier in the season, finished with 40 saves, keeping the puck out of the net while lying on his stomach in the second period after a Suter shot clanked off the left post. He also stopped a Zach Parise breakaway in the second period. Stalock, making just his ninth start of the season, picked hi his sixth victory after recording 31 saves.
(With inputs from agencies.)