Sports

Kirill Kaprizov helps Wild end Kings' eight-game home winning streak with 3-1 victory

Wild Kings Hockey
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov, right, controls the puck past Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson, left, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Los Angeles.
Kyusung Gong | AP

Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist, and the Minnesota Wild beat Los Angeles 3-1 on Monday night, ending the Kings’ eight-game home winning streak.

Matt Boldy and Ryan Hartman also scored for the Wild, who had been outscored 13-3 in their previous two games against the Kings. Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves.

“They ran us out of the building last time we were here, 6-0 last time,” Gustavsson said. “We came here, we wanted to finish off strong, and we played good in San Jose. We wanted to come here and win this game, and personally, like I said, finish off on a good note.”

Blake Lizotte scored and Cam Talbot allowed three goals on 29 shots as the Kings lost firm control of their path to third place in the Pacific Division. They are one point ahead of Vegas, which has a game in hand.

“You can describe it a bunch of different ways,” interim coach Jim Hiller said. “Not enough intensity, not enough emotion, not competitive enough. A bunch of different words, they all mean the same thing.”

While the Kings had something to play for, trying to extend their lead over the Golden Knights, it was the Wild who tallied the only goal in the first period.

Boldy netted his 29th of the season with less than six minutes to go, beating Talbot between his legs off the rush on the power play. Boldy got his third goal and seventh point of a five-game point streak.

“He really has been plugged in, playing the game the right way and playing to his strengths," Wild coach John Hynes said. "Got rewarded for it on the power play, but I thought in general he had a big impact."

Rookie defenseman Brock Faber, acquired from the Kings in the June 2022 trade that sent Kevin Fiala to the West Coast, had the secondary assist for his 46th point.

“I don't want to say too much about Brock, he's right next to me, but great pass by Marco (Rossi) and I was able to find the net,” Boldy said as Faber stood in the adjacent locker.

Minnesota nearly doubled its lead in the last minute, but was thwarted by a timely intervention by Los Angeles forward Trevor Moore. Moore used his stick to send Alex Goligoski’s shot over the open net after Talbot came out of his crease to play the puck.

The Wild did eventually find that second goal late in the second period, a crisp breakout creating a 2-on-1 for Kaprizov to feed Hartman with 5 seconds remaining.

Kaprizov got his 50th assist, reaching the mark for the second time. He had 61 in the 2021-22 campaign.

Kaprizov then notched his 45th goal in cheeky fashion in the third period, banking it in off Talbot from behind the net.

“Smart, really smart move,” Hynes said. “It’s really tough to defend. The goalie can’t defend it really. The only way to defend it is if it bounces the right way for the goalie.”

Lizotte got the Kings on the board with 5:24 remaining, with Fiala and Talbot getting the assists, but the lethargic showing was all too reminiscent of the January swoon that nearly put them out of postseason contention and cost head coach Todd McLellan his job.

“You can’t be taking steps back,” defenseman Mikey Anderson said. “We got to keep building ’cause you don’t get any time after the year to build your game up. You’re jumping right into it, so just making sure we’re ready to go. We get one more try before we need to be ready.”

Up next

Wild: Host the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night.

Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

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