Talbot, Wild beat Kings 3-2, for 2-game sweep to open season
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Frederick Gaudreau, Victor Rask and Ryan Hartman scored in the second period and the Minnesota Wild held on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Cam Talbot started for the second straight night and made 29 saves. He stopped 57 of 60 shots to win back-to-back games against Anaheim and Los Angeles.
“Goalies don’t typically play back-to-backs too often anymore. Like I said, it is early so he felt good, and he looked good as well,” Hartman said. “He’s calm, he’s collected, he makes some big saves when he has to, and that’s what you need from your starting goalie.”
Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, Viktor Arvidsson scored his first goal for the Kings, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves.
“I think today was kind of a streaky game. We were on them pretty good, and then they’d be on us,” Kings defenseman Matt Roy said.
While Minnesota wasn’t able to immediately carry over the energy from Marcus Foligno’s goal in the final seconds in a 2-1 win at Anaheim on Friday, the Wild got on track in the middle 20 minutes.
Rask gave the Wild a 2-1 lead at 11:55 of the second period, scoring on a wrist shot in the slot.
Hartman made it 3-1 at 16:52, when Foligno’s backhand pass set him up to shoot over a sprawling Quick for his first goal of the season.
“They weren’t easy games, you know, both the game yesterday against Anaheim and today,” said Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who had an assist. “These are the teams that play, like, defensive style. It’s tough to get through, get some chances. We stuck with it. We came out on top in both games and we keep going, build our game from that.”
Kopitar cut it to 3-2 at 7:28 of the third period, scoring on a give-and-go from Drew Doughty. Los Angeles kept peppering Talbot with shots, including in the final 1:50 after pulling Quick for an extra attacker, but couldn’t come up with the tying goal.
“We praised the group after about our composure,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We didn’t panic. There was no frustration.”
Arvidsson shot into an open net at 5:23 of the second after a sprawling Talbot overcommitted on the power play, his first goal since being acquired in a trade from Nashville on July 1. But Gaudreau tied it up 1-1 at 6:17, and Kings coach Todd McLellan said allowing the Wild to respond so quickly was a costly error.
“If we could go back and take a goal out of the game, that’s the one that I would pick,” McLellan said. “To me, that was a little bit of game management (breakdown) in that situation and we’ve been stressing that for a month and a bit already.”
Kopitar has four goals and three assists, becoming just the third player in Kings history with at least seven points through two games. Wayne Gretzky had eight points to start the 1988-89 season, and Luc Robitaille had seven points in the same campaign.
Doughty had two assists, giving him six points through two games. That is tied for second-most points by a defenseman through two games in league history, trailing Harry Cameron’s seven points for the Toronto Arenas in 1917-18.