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Gaborik scores No. 400, Kings top Wild for sixth straight win

Los Angeles rallies with four goals in third period

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Marian Gaborik scored his 400th NHL goal. Anze Kopitar got his 500th NHL assist. But the milestones happened on the same play, which raised the issue of what to do with the puck.

"I told 'em I'd take it," Los Angeles Kings coach John Stevens said.

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Kings highlights]

 

Gaborik scored Nos. 399 and 400, and the Kings extended their winning streak to six games with a 5-2 victory against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on Tuesday.

Adrian Kempe, Jake Muzzin and Kopitar scored for the Kings (18-8-3), who have the longest active winning streak in the NHL. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves and won his fifth straight start. Kopitar finished with three points, capping off the Kings' four-goal outburst in the third period with an empty-net goal on the power play.

The Kings have a plus-27 scoring margin, second in the League behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I don't think the first two periods were very energetic. I think the whole building kind of felt that. But then, being down one going into the third, you kind of have to throw everything out there," said Kopitar, who has three goals and three assists during a three-game point streak.

Tyler Ennis and Charlie Coyle scored, and Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves for the Wild (13-11-3), who have lost four of their past five games.

Video: MIN@LAK: Muzzin blisters a slap shot past Dubnyk

The Kings took a 3-2 lead after Dubnyk used his stick to knock away Kempe's centering pass, but sent it into Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin's right skate. It careened back in between Dubnyk's pads at 12:38.

"This one was really frustrating because it was a play that they didn't do anything," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "This one, if we hadn't touched the puck, it's going into the corner."

Gaborik got his 400th goal and 800th NHL point 1:22 later off a face-off win by Kopitar, with the shot hitting Matt Dumba's stick.  

"[Kopitar] has just been a horse all year, and [Gaborik] has worked so hard to come back and really wants to play and be a productive player. It's kind of fitting that those two guys would partner up on a milestone like that," Stevens said.

Stevens shuffled his lines in the second period, reuniting Gaborik with Kopitar and Dustin Brown. The line, which served as a major catalyst during the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup in 2013-14, sparked the third-period rally when Gaborik finished off a 2-on-1 break with Kopitar to make it 2-2 at 4:35 of the third period.

It was Gaborik's sixth point in seven games after going through an extended training camp to recover from offseason knee surgery. The Kings are 6-0-1 with Gaborik in the lineup.

Coyle opened the scoring at 10:30 of the second, finishing off a 3-on-2 break. Tyler Toffoli missed on his attempt to reach out and steal Coyle's pass to Daniel Winnik in the offensive zone, allowing the Wild to charge the other way. Chris Stewart sent the puck towards the net and Coyle redirected it past Quick for his second goal.

Muzzin tied it 1-1 at 14:24 of the second period on a shot from the left circle. The Wild regained the lead 1:10 later when Ennis scored on a wraparound.

But Minnesota failed to maintain its intensity in the third period, with self-inflicted mistakes that allowed Los Angeles to capitalize.

"When they put their push on, we just didn't do anything about it," Boudreau said.

Video: MIN@LAK: Kempe banks in goal off defender's skate

 

Goal of the game

Gaborik's goal at 14:00 of the third period.

Video: MIN@LAK: Gaborik nets 400th goal off the faceoff

 
Save of the game

Quick against Ennis at 4:11 of the second period.

Video: MIN@LAK: Quick shuts the door on Ennis in the 2nd

 

Highlight of the game

Gaborik's goal at 4:35 of the third period.

Video: MIN@STL: Gaborik, Kopitar combine to score on rush

 

They said it

"You give him the puck in the areas that he needs to score, more often than not he's going to put them in. That's what we are going to need from him going forward too." -- Kings captain Anze Kopitar on forward Marian Gaborik

 

"You don't want to give them life or anything to feel good about. Two-on-one from the far blue line, obviously, they made a nice play. They're feeling good, the energy in the building is high, and they start coming back." -- Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk

 

Need to know

The Kings equaled their longest winning streak since winning six in a row from Nov. 28-Dec. 11, 2015. … Coyle has a point in five straight games (two goals, three assists). … Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (groin strain) missed his fourth straight game. … Kings defenseman Drew Doughty had two assists, giving him 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his past 11 games.

 

What's next

Wild: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-N, SN1, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kopitar, Gaborik lead Kings to 5-2 victory vs. Wild

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