MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
Michael Russo: Wild rallies in third period for key win over L.A.
The Kings, the Western Conference’s best defensive team, had won 14 of their previous 17 games. They’re also a team that was 130-2-11 since April 4, 2009, when leading after two periods.
But the Wild’s past three victories have been by the come-from-behind variety in the third period (at Detroit, at Phoenix and at Los Angeles).
“Real impressive character win,” coach Mike Yeo said. “You’re battling all game, you lose a couple guys, and let’s not kid ourselves, we’re playing against a pretty darn good hockey team, a team that’s very good when playing with the lead. But our guys stayed with it.”
The Wild lost two players in tonight’s game to potential head injuries.
Mikael Granlund was hurt late in the second period when he went in for his fifth hit of the night against Jarret Stoll. Granlund, who has a history of concussions (just this year he’s taken hits from Connor Murphy, Nazem Kadri and I can’t remember off the top of my head, but somebody in Ottawa), had a nasty red mark below his left eye after the game. Nino Niederreiter was hurt three shifts into his night when he was clobbered in the neutral zone by a high, hard hit from Jake Muzzin, who looked to get away with a head shot in the second on Jason Pominville.
Muzzin wasn’t penalized on either high hit. Niederreiter pinballed into Jeff Carter and left the game wobbly.
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS
Sixty-two seconds after Moulson tied the game, Wild captain Mikko Koivu blasted a one-timer past Quick. Charlie Coyle, as he did much of the night, won a battle in the corner and was able to feed Koivu for the game-winner.
It meant the Wild won two games in a row with third-period comebacks.
In the Wild’s win Saturday over Phoenix, they scored three third-period goals. Monday, it took two third-period goals to secure the comeback.
Darcy Kuemper, who was set to back up Ilya Bryzgalov in Monday night’s game against the Kings, was injured during the Wild’s morning practice. Without time to call up a backup from their American Hockey League affiliate in Iowa, the Wild signed Rob Laurie to a pro tryout contract.
Early indications were that Kuemper wouldn’t be out long, but little is known about the injury. After taking a shot during practice, Kuemper was hunched over and appeared to be holding his arm, but team officials didn’t specify the injury Monday.
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The Wild did not come out of this game unscathed, however. Nino Niederreiter took a punishing hit that caught him looking the other way and ended with him being pancaked between two Kings players. He left the game and did not return. Mikael Granlund also left the game late in the second period as he fell head/face first into an on-coming Jarret Stoll check. The Kings’ Jake Muzzin then decided to throw an elbow towards Jason Pominville’s head, but all he got up and went on to contribute to Moulson’s goal.