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Quick makes 40 saves to help Kings edge Wild

by Gene Warnick

LOS ANGELES -- A two-time Stanley Cup champion, Jonathan Quick has already cemented his place in Los Angeles Kings history. He's finding it a little difficult to pass Rogie Vachon for the Kings record for shutouts though.

Quick stopped 40 shots Sunday to help the Kings defeat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 at Staples Center.

"We were able to clear out some rebounds, block some shots and just kind of got through it," Quick said.

Quick allowed a somewhat fluky third-period goal to thwart his shutout bid, keeping him tied with Vachon at 32 career shutouts.

Minnesota right wing Justin Fontaine kept the puck in the Los Angeles zone near the right-wing boards and moved it toward the hash marks. Center Ryan Carter redirected the puck to left wing Matt Cooke, who was alone in front of the net with his back to Quick. Cooke's backhand beat Quick at 6:47 of the third to make it 2-1.

It was Cooke's first goal of the season.

Quick lost a shutout with 21 seconds left in a 6-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday before tying Vachon's mark in a 1-0 shootout victory against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Tyler Toffoli got the Kings on the board on the power play at 13:54 of the first period.

Kings center Mike Richards skated the puck into the Wild zone down the left wing. His pass went off Wild defenseman Ryan Suter's skate in front of the goal right to Toffoli, who wristed it past goalie Niklas Backstrom glove side for his third goal.

It was the first power-play goal the Wild allowed this season. They entered the game 11-for-11 on the penalty kill.

Tanner Pearson scored the game-winner for Los Angeles at 2:58 of the third after taking a feed in the slot from Toffoli. Center Jeff Carter won the puck in a scrum behind the Minnesota net and fed Toffoli, who found Pearson alone out front.

Pearson has five goals and is tied with Toffoli for the Los Angeles lead in points with seven.

The Kings (4-1-1) have won four straight.

Backstrom, making his first start since Jan. 11, stopped 14 of 16 shots. His 2013-14 season was cut short by abdominal and hip surgeries.

Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said Backstrom wasn't at fault on either Los Angeles goal.

"The first was a bad bounce; the second a bang-bang play," Yeo said.

The Wild (2-2-0) have lost two in a row since opening the season with back-to-back shutout wins against the Colorado Avalanche.

Coming off a 2-1 loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, Yeo was concerned by the Wild's inability to finish, especially since they outshot the Kings 41-16.

"We had a lot of zone time and some looks, but the bottom line is you are going to have to score too," he said.

The Wild were 0-for-5 on the power play despite putting 14 shots on goal with the man advantage. They are 0-for-16 this season.

Yeo switched the power-play lines Sunday, putting Thomas Vanek, Zach Parise and Mikku Koivu on the first unit and Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter on the second.

Vanek missed the final 13:14 of the second period after he took a puck off his right hand on a shot by Suter. He returned to play 8:24 in the third.

Vanek compared the loss Sunday to the loss in Anaheim, when the Wild outshot the Ducks 28-26.

"It's frustrating because we played well again," he said. "There's not much we can change besides scoring goals ... but Quick was good. He was on top of his game. We all know he's a world-class goalie, and he showed that today."

The Wild return home to face the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, when the Kings play the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth game of their six-game homestand.

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