ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild must start winning soon if they
want to return to the playoffs -- all these ties aren't going to cut it.
On Wednesday night, however, they were more than happy to come out even.
Dwayne Roloson made 44 saves, and Andrew Brunette scored a rare power-play
goal for the Wild in a 2-2 tie with the Los Angeles Kings.
Minnesota, the only team in the NHL without an overtime decision, leads the
league with 13 ties.
"We're still getting points -- that's the main thing," Roloson said.
"Unfortunately, a team ahead of us got a point also. Eventually, we're going
to have to get some wins."
The Kings, who haven't won in 13 games (0-3-9-1), have 46 points. They are
tied for eighth in the West, three points ahead of the Wild.
"If we continue to play as determined as we are," Kings coach Andy Murray
said, "we know we'll be rewarded."
Minnesota, with 43 points, is in 11th after advancing to the conference
finals last season. The Wild have just one win in 11 games (1-3-7).
Nick Schultz tied it at 2 midway through the second period with a nifty,
on-the-move backhander that sailed past Kings goalie Roman Cechmanek's
The Wild had two great chances to win. Marian Gaborik, an All-Star last year
who has just five goals this season, hit the left post with a shot in the third
period and misfired on the rebound after it came straight back to him in the
With less 10 seconds remaining in overtime, Pascal Dupuis came out of the
penalty box for a two-on-one with Jim Dowd, who passed to Willie Mitchell --
whose shot was partially deflected by Eric Belanger.
"What's good about it is we're there every game," Wild coach Jacques
Lemaire said. "We're not winning. We're there every game."
Roloson was the star on a night when his team's normally sound defense was
soft at best. Los Angeles had 46 shots, the most allowed by Minnesota this
season and also a franchise record at home.
"Thank you, Roly," Lemaire said, pressing his hands together as if he were
praying. "It's got to be one of his top games."
Belanger and Scott Barney scored for the injury-decimated Kings, whose last
victory was Dec. 16. Leading scorer Ziggy Palffy is out for the season
following shoulder surgery, and forward Martin Straka is out with a sprained
knee. Forwards Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh haven't played at all.
Los Angeles, which played Nashville to a scoreless tie on Tuesday, had a
19-6 shots advantage in the first period -- but nothing good came out of it. The
Kings trailed 1-0 thanks to a poorly executed penalty kill -- they're
third-to-last in the NHL in that category.
Jozef Stumpel had a point-blank shot from the top of the crease, but it was
gloved by Roloson. A little later, at the other end of the ice, Brunette
knocked in a rebound of Andrei Zyuzin's shot to make it 1-0.
Persistence paid off for the Kings early in the second period. Belanger came
from behind the net, sneaked in front of Wild defenseman Nick Schultz, and
stuffed a shot in the corner to tie it.
Barney -- called up from the minors on Monday when Palffy and Straka were
placed on the injured list -- scored on a slap shot through traffic to put Los
Angeles ahead 2-1.
Murray was asked if the tie was a disappointment, considering his team
doubled the Wild's shot total.
"I don't even know how you can put the word disappointment in the same
sentence with our effort tonight," Murray said. "We played a determined