LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Minnesota Wild won only two games last season when trailing after two periods. They have already equaled that total during the first week of the season.
Marcus Johansson scored with 11 seconds remaining in overtime Saturday night as the Wild rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings for the second straight game after trailing by two goals after two periods.
“You don’t want to continually do this, clearly, but two games in and if you have that good feeling and good belief hopefully it translates earlier more nights,” Wild coach Dean Evason said.
Johansson took the pass from Kirill Kaprizov and one-timed a wrist shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick on his stick side to complete the comeback and give Minnesota its first 2-0 start since 2015-16.
It is also the first time since October 2014 that the Wild have overcome multi-goal deficits in the third period in consecutive games.
“I didn’t get a lot of it, but it turned out to be a nice little chip shot and I’ll take that any day,” Johansson said.
Ryan Suter sent it to overtime with 2 seconds remaining with a snap shot near the blue line that Quick was unable to get his glove on.
Matt Roy could have put the Kings up by two goals with 36 seconds remaining, but his shot hit the right post on an empty-net situation.
Matt Dumba and Joel Eriksson Ek also tallied goals for Minnesota, and Jordan Greenway had a pair of assists. Cam Talbot made 30 saves for the Wild.
Gabriel Vilardi, Blake Lizotte and Alex Athanasiou scored for Los Angeles while Jeff Carter had two assists. Quick stopped 40 shots.
The two blown leads have disappointed Kings coach Todd McLellan, who saw his team go 18-1-1 last season when it was up after two periods.
“I can see one slip away but not two. That’s unacceptable,” he said. “That’s two games in a row that played out almost identical in a lot of different ways. And there’s no reason why we should let either of them get away from us.”
COMES AT A COST
The Kings have killed off all 11 of their penalties this season, but McLellan is not happy with the amount of times they have been short-handed.
Eriksson Ek’s goal, which brought the Wild to 3-2, came after the Kings killed off their fifth penalty of the night. They weren’t able to clear the puck down ice and got caught in the middle of a line change.
“Some of the penalties are just awful decisions. You know, different situations that are completely preventable,” he said. “Is it because we haven’t played for a while? Possibly but I think that would be using it as an excuse. I didn’t think we were ready to play tonight. That’s not a good sign for us at all, especially early in the season.”
Dumba put the Wild up 1-0 just 21 seconds into the game when he threw it on net and it deflected off Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid and past Quick. It is the quickest goal by a defenseman in team history and tied for the eighth-fastest goal in Minnesota history
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Vilardi’s goal tied it at 1 with 3:02 remaining in the first period. Officials originally determined there was no goal, but it was overturned when replays showed the puck crossed the goal line before the net came off its moorings.
Suter became the second active NHL defenseman and 28th all-time to reach 500 assists on Dumba’s goal. It was also his 300th with the Wild, making him the second player in team history to reach that mark.
GOOD EARLY IMPRESSION
Athanasiou has a pair of goals in his first two games with LA. He signed two days before the start of training camp after splitting time between Detroit and Edmonton last season. The 26-year-old forward gave the Kings a 3-1 lead midway through the second period on a rebound off a 2-on-1 break after Talbot stopped Jeff Carter’s first shot.
Wild: Dumba owns 10 first goals of a game for Minnesota, which is second in team history amongst defensemen (Suter has 11). … Wild defensemen have eight of the team’s 18 points (three goals, five assists). Minnesota was fourth in the league last season in points scored by defensemen with 168.
Kings: G Cal Petersen and defensemen Sean Walker and Kurtis MacDermid were activated to the roster after being unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols. … Carter owns 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 34 games against the Wild.
Wild: Continue their four-game road trip on Monday against the Anaheim Ducks.
Kings: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
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