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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Erik Christensen and Mikko Koivu scored in a shootout, and the Minnesota Wild rallied to beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on Saturday night.
Darroll Powe, Nick Johnson and Christensen scored in regulation for the Wild, who won their second straight. Niklas Backstrom had 26 saves, then stopped both Los Angeles shootout attempts.
Brad Richardson scored twice and Dustin Brown had a goal for Los Angeles, which began the night with a slim lead in the Pacific Division. Anze Kopitar had three assists and Jonathan Bernier made 20 saves, but the Kings lost for the first time in three games.
Both teams had excellent scoring opportunities in overtime. Mike Richards was robbed on a left pad save by Backstrom, and the Wild’s Devin Setoguchi hit the left post on a penalty shot.
Minnesota tied the game midway through the third period when a shot from Jason Zucker deflected off the stick of Los Angeles defenseman Slava Voynov and then off the skate of Christensen behind Bernier. The play was upheld by video review.
Los Angeles entered the day one point up on Dallas and Phoenix while San Jose was two points back, but in ninth place in the conference. The Kings have three games remaining: home against Edmonton on Monday and a home-and-home with the Sharks.
With the game tied 2-all less than a minute into the second period, Richardson, who had just three goals in 55 games, gave Los Angeles its first lead. After leaving the puck for Kopitar in the left circle, Richardson began to circle behind the net just as Kopitar’s shot went off the end boards. Richardson grabbed the loose puck, skated out from behind the net and put the puck into the unoccupied goal.
Powe put the Wild up 1-0 just 40 seconds into the game, tipping a slap shot from Nate Prosser just inside the right post.
Three minutes later, the teams swapped goals in a 17-second span.
First, Richardson scored on a rebound to tie the game, but Johnson countered with a rebound goal of his own. Zucker outmuscled defenseman Matt Greene through the left circle and to the left post where the duo collided with Bernier. As the puck lay alone in the crease, Johnson swooped in for the easy goal. It was Zucker’s first career point in his second NHL game.
Brown tied the game with a power-play goal late in the opening period, tucking a rebound of Richards’ shot past Backstrom.
NOTES: Richardson has three career two-goal games, the last coming on Oct. 23, 2010. … Kopitar has 21 points in his past 17 games. … Los Angeles C Jeff Carter missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. He is expected to see a specialist early next week. … Wild D Marco Scandella was scratched with an upper body injury. … Christensen has six goals in his past 10 games. … Minnesota scored two goals in the first period at home for the first time since Jan. 31.
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