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Kings rally in third, top Wild in shootout

by Dan Myers /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Los Angeles Kings have a pretty good goaltender in Jonathan Quick. But it's got to be good to know they have a quality guy waiting in the wings just in case in the form of forward Trevor Lewis.

With 53 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied 2-2, the puck squirted free to Wild forward Matt Cooke in front of the Kings net. Quick was out of position -- but Lewis, playing without a stick, made a sprawling stop on Cooke, allowing the Kings to get to overtime and ultimately win the game 3-2 in a shootout.

"I just tried to make myself big and it hit me. I think it was a pretty good butterfly," Lewis said. "They said I looked like a roller hockey goalie out there."

"That was huge," center Anze Kopitar said. "I don't know if he two-pad stacked it, but he kept it out of the net and that's all that counts."

Had Cooke been able to capitalize, it would have marked a two-goal debut for the one-time Wild nemesis, who was playing in his first game with Minnesota after spending much of his career with the Vancouver Canucks. Cooke signed with Minnesota during the summer after several years with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I thought we had it," Cooke said of the late scramble. "There was like eight guys crawling in the crease and the puck keeps bouncing back to us but we can't really get a clean shot."

"It's instinct almost," Lewis said of jumping in front of the puck. "You have adrenaline, so if it hits you, it doesn't hurt too bad right away."

The loss marked the first defeat for the Wild in a home opener. Minnesota had won 11 in a row after tying the Philadelphia Flyers 3-3 in the first home game in franchise history.

The Kings trailed 2-1 with less than seven minutes to play in regulation before tying the game on a goal by Jeff Carter, who flipped a backhanded rebound into the net after Niklas Backstrom had stopped an initial shot by Matt Frattin.

Carter struck again in the shootout, ending the game by scoring Los Angeles' second goal after Quick had shut down the Wild's Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. In between, Kopitar scored in the first round of the shootout for L.A.

The late goal by Carter saved the Kings after a lethargic second period left the visitors down 2-1 after 40 minutes. Quick's heroics were the only reason the Kings still had a chance to win; he stopped all 13 shots he faced in the middle period, when L.A. managed only three, and finished with 27 saves.

"It was mostly power play," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said, "and you need your goalie to be very good when you're killing penalties, especially with the guys they can put out there."

The Wild scored 1:04 into the game when Kyle Brodziak's centering feed deflected off Cooke's skate in front and went past Quick. The goal was reviewed in Toronto and eventually upheld, much to the chagrin of Sutter.

"That first goal was …" Sutter said before stopping himself. "No sense talking about it. I reviewed it."

Los Angeles evened the score six minutes later on its first power play of the season when defenseman Drew Doughty one-timed a blast from the point through a screen and past Backstrom.

Minnesota took advantage of a power play of its own at 17:12 as Jonas Brodin one-timed a brilliant backhanded pass from the corner by Nino Niederreiter top-shelf past Quick. Niederreiter, an offseason acquisition from the New York Islanders who was also playing in his first game for the Wild, picked himself off the ice, dug out a loose puck and fed a pinching Brodin in the slot.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said Quick was one of the main reasons why his team seemed to get away from the style of play that enabled Minnesota to dominate the first 40 minutes.

"That's what a goalie like Quick can do to you," Yeo said. "You start looking for the perfect play. You forget about how we scored. You gotta make sure you stay one top of that. You can't let them take you out of your game."

After a scoreless overtime, Kopitar and Carter beat Backstrom to the stick side in the shootout. Parise saw the puck slide off his stick, and Quick poke-checked Koivu's attempt. Backstrom is now 21-33 all-time in shootouts, and his .556 save percentage is the lowest among the 24 goaltenders who've faced 100 or more attempts.

Backstrom, who was re-signed to a three-year contract this summer, stopped 16 of 18 shots in regulation and overtime.

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