LOS ANGELES – There was only one problem for the Kings tonight.
Minnesota’s young goaltender stunned the Kings tonight; stopping 39 shots while notching his first-career NHL win. Kuemper was called-up from Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa on January 2 to give the Wild some much-needed assistance in the crease while Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom nurse injuries.
Jonathan Quick, in his second game back since recovering from his groin injury, was solid for the Kings yet again. Quick made 16 saves on 17 Minnesota shots, chiming in with yet another positive bounce-back performance.
Both clubs failed to score through the first two periods, as they entered the third period of tonight’s contest at a 0-0 stalemate.
The Kings, through the first 40 minutes of scoreless hockey, out-shot the Wild 30-9.
The Kings would finally be able to crack Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper :50 seconds into the third period, as Jarret Stoll snuck home a shot between the five-hole for his sixth goal of the season to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
That lead, however, would be short-lived.
Minnesota’s Nino Nedierreter would tie the contest just 2:35 minutes later, as he slipped a puck past a sliding Jonathan Quick to even the score 1-1 with 16:35 remaining in regulation.
That would be all of the night’s scoring, as these two clubs headed past regulation for the second time in as many meetings this season.
The overtime frame was fairly uneventful, as neither club could tally the game-winner, as the Kings out-shot the Wild 3-2.
Minnesota would find victory in the shootout frame. After each club went scoreless in the first three rounds, Nino Neiderreiter beat Jonathan Quick to the blocker side in the fourth round.
The Kings were unable to beat Darcy Kuemper in their four shootout breakaway attempts.
The Kings, now with a 26-13-5 record which is good for 57 points, sit at fifth place in the Western Conference.
The Kings will be back at STAPLES Center to continue their five-game home stand Thursday night as the Boston Bruins are in town for their only visit to Los Angeles this season. Puck drops at 7:30.