LOS ANGELES — Justin Williams and Jeff Carter scored goals on the Los Angeles Kings’ first two shots of the game, just 1:38 apart, leading their team to a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 4.
Williams opened the scoring just 1:29 into the first period, finishing off an outnumbered attack with a blistering snap shot from the right circle, beating Wild goaltender Nicklas Backstrom over his right shoulder.
At the 3:07 mark, the Kings took advantage of a bad line change by the Wild. Carter took a pass from center Mike Richards, and was all alone on right wing. Still unchecked in the right circle, he moved in on Backstrom and beat him with a wrist shot between his skates.
Williams added a second goal at 3:52 of the second period, capitalizing on another outnumbered attack given up by the Wild. From the top of the right circle, Williams fired a blast over the left shoulder of Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper, who replaced Backstrom at the 3:07 mark of the first period.
Backstrom gave up two goals on both shots he faced, before being yanked in favor of Kuemper, who made eleven saves.
Jonathan Bernier stopped 23 shots, earning his first shutout of the season, and the sixth of his National Hockey League career.
Three of Bernier’s shutouts have come against the Wild.
Post-Game Quotes From Minnesota Wild Dressing Room
Minnesota Head Coach Mike Yeo
“It’s tough for sure to start the game like that. But still, you give up a goal, it can’t turn into two. Obviously, we have to eliminate some of the big mistakes we are making. Two goals on line changes. That’s usually something we are pretty strong on.”
“The reality is this has been a grueling stretch, but we have a couple of days now. We have to use them the right way. Get the rest and get focused on this final stretch.”
(On Jason Pominville): “I thought that line was great for us. That for me is a bright spot. We saw some things that were very encouraging.”
Minnesota Defenseman Ryan Suter
“When you are playing a lot of games on the road you can’t get behind. We have been doing that to ourselves—shooting in the foot to start the game. You can’t afford to do that.”
“Obviously, you are concerned but you can’t panic. Throughout the year, you are going to go through ups and downs. You have to work harder to get out of the hole. We have the guys in here who can do it.”
“We have to get back to playing simple hockey. I think we are trying to complicate it. It doesn’t make it any easier for us.”
Minnesota Forward Jason Pominville
“Bernier was good tonight. I think we can find ways to create a little bit more. Obviously, we only had one power play. We weren’t able to generate much on it.”
“It was a low scoring game where not a lot was done with the quality opportunities, but I think we had some good zone time. We moved them around. I think the scoring chances will definitely come for sure.”
- Bernier is 9-0-0 in ten starts this season, earning a 1.50 gaals against average, and a .938 save percentage in those games.
- Williams now has goals in five straight games (six goals), a career high.
- Carter has 15 goals and 18 points in the last 24 games.
- Anze Kopitar has 24 points in the last 23 games (six goals, 18 assists).
- Robyn Regehr had an assist, a +2 plus/minus rating, and six hits in his Kings debut.
- The Kings are 16-7-1 in their last 24 games, outscoring opponents 77-54 (not counting shootout goals; .688 points percentage).
- The Kings are 18-8-1 in their last 27 games, outscoring opponents 85-59 (not counting shootout goals; .685 points percentage).
- The Kings are now 13-4-1 at home, tied for the best 18-game home record in club history. Six other clubs had 27 points after 18 home games.
- The Kings have outscored their opponents 55-33 at home this season.
- The Kings recorded a season low 14 shots (previous low was 16, March 4 vs. Nashville).
Frozen Royalty Video via FrozenRoyaltyNHL on YouTube – Interviews From Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings, April 4, 2013
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Robyn Regehr – Includes expanded coverage not included in corresponding video footage available on KingsVision on YouTube, or on LAKings.com
Minnesota Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo
Post-Game Interviews via KingsVision On YouTube
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