The Minnesota Wild have been searching for a spark to lift them out of a lethargic stretch. A dominant victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions might just do the trick.
The Wild hope to build on one of their most complete performances of the season as they finish a five-game road trip against the last-place Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
With his team scoring only four goals during a 1-3-0 stretch, Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire wasn't shy about calling out his players after Wednesday's 4-1 loss to San Jose.
"You can't hide this," he said. "If you're playing good teams well and not winning, it shows you you're not strong enough."
The Wild (17-12-2) responded with a determined effort Friday against Anaheim, scoring the game's first five goals en route to a 5-2 victory.
"Tonight I don't know why it clicked so much," Lemaire said.
Minnesota matched a season high in goals, scoring four on the power play in the second period. Brian Rolston had a goal and two assists, and Aaron Voros and Brent Burns each scored one goal and set up another as the Wild won for just the fourth time in their last 12 road games.
"Especially with five guys out with the flu the last couple of days," Voros said. "We came up with a big team win and that is what we needed."
Backup goaltender Josh Harding was in control throughout, giving up only late third-period goals to Brad May and Todd Bertuzzi.
Rolston's goal was his third in 17 games while leading scorer Marian Gaborik added his first in six contests. Right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard assisted on Rolston's goal, but failed to find the back of the net for the 15th consecutive game.
The Kings (12-18-2) return home after a road trip to Chicago and Dallas resulted in two losses and 10 goals allowed.
Tom Preissing scored in the third period of Los Angeles' 4-1 loss Thursday to the Stars.
"It's frustrating," defenseman Jaroslav Modry said. "Breakdowns cost us the game. We were solid at the start, but we had a breakdown that cost us and we were behind the rest of the night."
Rookie Jonathan Quick allowed four goals on 18 shots in his second start before he was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin at 14:56 of the second period. The roles were reversed in Wednesday's 6-3 loss to Chicago, as Aubin didn't make it through the first period before he was lifted in favor of Quick.
Los Angeles, 2-5-1 in its last eight games, is tied with Phoenix and Washington for the fewest points in the NHL.
Second-year center Anze Kopitar has been the Kings' best player this season, and particularly lately. He had six goals and six assists during an eight-game point streak that ended Thursday.
Left wing Alexander Frolov could return to the lineup Saturday after missing 11 games with a groin injury. Frolov has only four goals in 21 games after he scored a career-high 35 last season.
The Wild had their four-game winning streak against the Kings snapped with a 4-3 shootout loss on Oct. 16 at Staples Center.