Kings Win For Coach Murray In His 1,000th NHL Game
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Defensemen Alex Martinez and Matt Greene scored on the front and back ends of a four-goal second period, Colin Fraser added a goal, and the Los Angeles Kings breezed to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night in Terry Murray’s 1,000th regular-season game as an NHL coach.
Twelve Kings got on the score sheet. Simon Gagne had a goal and an assist, captain Dustin Brown also scored, and Justin Williams had two assists.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the win after losing his previous six starts. His teammates staked him to a 5-0 lead through two periods against a team that had won five of six and allowed an average of 1.56 goals over 14 games.
Josh Harding gave up four goals on 21 shots and was pulled by rookie coach Mike Yeo at 11:44 of the second period. Cal Clutterbuck and Darroll Powe scored for the Wild, who have averaged 2.3 goals through their first 16 games.
Harding had won his previous four starts, allowing just three goals on 129 shots.
The Wild played without left wing Guillaume Latendresse, who sustained a concussion Thursday in a loss at San Jose and will be sidelined indefinitely. As a result, left wing Nick Johnson joined Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu on the top line, and recently promoted Warren Peters centered the fourth line with Brad Staubitz and Colton Gillies.
Peters was a healthy scratch in San Jose after making his season debut last Tuesday at Calgary.
Los Angeles limited Minnesota to one shot through the first 17 minutes, 15 seconds. The Kings had 10 shots during that stretch, including Fraser’s first goal in two games since he was acquired from Edmonton in June for Ryan Smyth.
Ethan Moreau passed the puck out from behind the net and Harding stopped it with his stick, but Fraser jammed the puck in between his pads at 2:49 of the period. Fraser missed the first 15 games of the season after undergoing surgery for a broken foot, an injury that occurred about three months before the trade.
Peters received a five-minute boarding penalty at 17:38 of the first after his check on Martinez in the Kings zone, and Los Angeles scored with 38 seconds left on the power play.
Brown made it 3-0 at 6:49 of the period, converting his own rebound after he got the puck in the neutral zone from Jack Johnson and deftly swerved around Marek Zidlicky to avoid an attempted hip check above the left circle.
Kings left wing Dustin Penner sat out because of a hand injury sustained Thursday in a loss to Vancouver. He was replaced in the lineup by Brad Richardson, who was a healthy scratch Thursday after going the first 15 games with no goals and one assist.
NOTES: Murray is the 21st NHL coach to work 1,000 games, joining his brother Bryan. He also has coached 101 postseason games during his career that includes stints with Washington, Florida and Philadelphia. … Nashville’s Barry Trotz also coached his 1,000th game on Saturday. … Los Angeles had scored fewer than three goals in nine of their previous 11 games. … Heatley earned his 700th NHL point with an assist on Clutterbuck’s goal. … Minnesota came in 8-0 when scoring a power-play goal, and lost all seven games without one. The Wild are 5 for 49 over their last 13 games. … Murray is six wins shy of 500.
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