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Kopitar secures Kings' first win with OT wrister

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


LOS ANGELESAnze Kopitar ripped a wrist-shot past Darcy Kuemper 2:19 into OT Friday night to give the Kings their first win of the season, 2-1 over the Minnesota Wild at STAPLES Center.

If the Kings didn’t look like a more complete, composed squad Friday night, their 16-shot count in the first period showed it – which was one more than their total of 15 in their 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

The Kings’ powerful period, where they outshot Minnesota 16-5, didn’t grant them any leverage on the scoreboard – but they finally connected for a goal just over a minute into the second when Tyler Toffoli buried a gorgeous cross-ice feed from Milan Lucic, who, on Toffoli’s marker, recorded his first point in a Kings uniform.

For Toffoli, it was his second goal of the season, and his first at even-strength.

The Kings continued to dominate play through the second period, entering the third with a heavy favor in shots over the Wild, 32-14.

In the third, Minnesota connected for the game-tying goal while working on their third power play of the evening after Nick Shore was penalized for tripping Jonas Brodin. The Kings were called for two minor infractions thereafter, including a dangerously late one on Jordan Nolan with 2:03 to play, but managed to successfully kill both of them off.

Both clubs got their first taste of 3-on-3 OT Friday night, and the Wild got two golden opportunities to pocket the win before Anze Kopitar was able to strike. Jonathan Quick stoned Thomas Vanek and Matthew Dumba with glove saves, and the Kings were able to feed off of the Kings goaltender’s game-saving plays to turn around and secure the win.

After Minnesota failed to connect on a cross-ice pass through the slot in Los Angeles’ zone, a winded Anze Kopitar transitioned the puck up ice to Tanner Pearson, who straddled Minnesota’s blue-line to enter the zone on-sides, back-handed a pass to Kopitar, who walked in with ample time and space and fired a wrist-shot low to Darcy Kuemper’s blocker side to solidify the Kings’ first win of the season.



Minnesota challenged the play to see if the Kings were in-fact off-side on the play, but to no avail - Kopitar's goal stood legal.

The Kings avoided setting club history, as they avoided starting out a season with four regulation losses for what would have been the first time in the organization’s 48-year existence.

Dustin Brown played in his 806th career game Friday night, surpassing Rob Blake’s 805 for fourth on the Kings all-time games played list.

Five different players tied for the team lead in points scored (1), Dustin Brown led the club in shots taken (6), five different players in hits delivered (3), Brayden McNabb in shots blocked (5), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:28). Jonathan Quick made 25 saves in the win.

POST-GAME INTERVIEWS:

KOPITAR -



CARTER -



LUCIC -



SUTTER -

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