LOS ANGELES –
The Kings were held without a goal for the third time this season in their 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild Thursday night at STAPLES Center.
Minnesota, a team that lugged a five-game losing streak into the night with a combined one goal scored in their last three games, played marvelous defense in containing the Kings’ offense with 21 blocked shots.
Jarret Stoll, who the Wild claimed off of waivers on December 15, returned to STAPLES Center for the first time since he became a free agent at the end of last season. Stoll, who spent seven years with the Kings, and was a key piece to both Stanley Cup Championships, was greeted with a rousing ovation during the game’s first official timeout.
The Wild got on the board three minutes into the second period when Zach Parise netted a power play goal, snapping Minnesota’s 0-for-25 drought on the man-advantage.
Charlie Coyle gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead with 14 seconds left in the second, receiving a stretch pass that allowed him to walk in alone on Jonathan Quick.
The Kings challenged Coyle’s goal, looking for some irrefutable evidence of Minnesota’s forward being offside, but to no avail.
Erik Haula buried a shorthanded goal five minutes into the third to all but ice the game.
Jake Muzzin and Marian Gaborik led all Kings players in shots taken (6), Luke Schenn in hits delivered (6), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (26:36). Jonathan Quick made 25 saves in the loss.
The Kings will begin a two-game road trip Saturday night when they take on the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 6:00 PM PST.
DARRYL SUTTER -