ST. Paul, Minn. (AP) – Kirill Kaprizov scored his second goal of his rookie season in the first period of Minnesota’s championship game as the Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-3 Thursday night.
Minnesota Wild right wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) is tackled by Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) in the game between the Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings in Game 28. The month of January stopped at the Xcel Energy Center in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo: Nick Vosik/Icon Sports Wire via Getty Images)
Marcus Johansson scored a goal and an assist, while Kevin Fiala, Nick Bjugstad and Joel Eriksson Eck also scored for Minnesota, which lost two in a row. Kaapo Kahkonen made 32 moves for the Wilds.
He had it all from the beginning, Bjugstad said. We had good energy on all sides.
Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Alex Yafallo scored for Los Angeles for the second and fourth games in a row this season. Jonathan Quick finished with 23 shots for the Kings, who lost two defensemen to serious injuries.
Matt Roy left after poking his head against the boards, and Sean Walker was hit in the face with a slap shot.
There will be a lot of bad blood this season because we play a lot of teams, Doughty said. Minnesota hasn’t had many problems in the past. But, yes, I think some of it started tonight.
Familiarity between teams can lead to some tension in the beginning. Minnesota attacker Marcus Foligno and Los Angeles defenseman Curtis McDermid, who scored a goal in the Kings’ 5-3 victory on Tuesday, started the game tied for first place.
Then Wild took over.
Johansson opened the scoring after 3:33 minutes with his second goal of the season.
Los Angeles had a chance for the equalizer when Kahknonen was taken out of the net on a collision between Austin Wagner and Jared Spurgeon with the goalkeeper. The Kings missed a shot on an open net, and Fiala blocked a shot to slide in front of him for a breakaway that he passed to Quick. For Fiala, it was his third goal in four games.
Johansson then sent a beautiful deep pass to Kaprizov and scored the first goal.
Two games ago, I thought this was probably our worst start, Wild coach Dean Evason said. In the last game, we felt like we were beaten by a few shots on goal in the first. But I think from the beginning of the season, our group was ready from the first puck.
Minnesota allowed Los Angeles to come back in the second game with a series of runs in the box. The Wild received an 11-minute penalty in the first 12:09 of the third inning.
Fiala received a five-minute penalty and a foul after pushing Roy on the boards. Roy tried to stop and his skates came out from under him, landing head first on the boards.
Roy stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the ice.
It will be featured in different videos, educational clips for young players, older players, juniors, professional players, which is basically what you shouldn’t do, Kings coach Todd McLellan said. I’m sorry about Roissy. I don’t even know if there is a program for Fiala, it just happened. But we have to know that we can’t do that.
Brown and Doughty’s goals came on the power play.
Just as Roy was coming out, Walker was hit by a face shot from Matt Dumba in the third period. Walker fell to the ice, leaving a trail of blood as he tried to get back on the bench.
McLellan said both are being examined by doctors and that he expects them to return to Los Angeles with the team.
ATANASIO VIA COVID
Before the game, Los Angeles placed Andreas Athanasiou on VIDOC’s 19-minute list. The announcement was made after the team’s morning walk.
It was a bad day, any minute, to tell you the truth, McLellan said. I got a call around 6:30 this morning that Andreas was positive and it worked. So our pre-race skate was missed because there were some other guys in the contact chase that needed to be tested again. We’ve prepared a taxi. We found out late that we would have players available.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot participated in the morning skate but missed his third game in a row due to a lower body injury. Kahkonen started his third game in a row and played his fifth.
Kings: Go home and take a short break before you leave on the 2nd. February Anaheim received.
Wild: Hosts Colorado Avalanche are off for two consecutive games starting Saturday in a six-game season.
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