Dustin Brown has hat trick, Kings beat Wild 7-3
Blake Lizotte and Trevor Moore scored 53 seconds apart in the second period, Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists, and Gabriel Vilardi added a goal to help the Kings improve to 8-2-1 in their past 11 games. Calvin Petersen made 25 saves for his third straight victory.
“Starting to sound repetitive as a coach after a lot of games, which is a good thing. That means we’re finding some consistency, we’re doing some things right,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We’re winning the right way, and it means we’re moving the needle forward.”
Marcus Foligno had a goal and an assist for Minnesota, Jared Spurgeon and Luke Kunin also scored, and Alex Stalock made 28 saves. The Wild had won six in a row on the road. They missed a chance to reclaim the first wild card in the Western Conference.
“Obviously, we made some mistakes,” Wild interim coach Dave Evason said. “Turnovers and mistakes defensively, for sure, but we still gave ourselves an opportunity at the end. I like the way we kept competing, that’s for sure.”
Brown made it 4-1 early in the third period with his 297th career goal. He had a tap into an open net after Stalock saved Ben Hutton’s initial shot.
Spurgeon cut it to 4-2 at 5:33, and Kunin made it 4-3 with 4:25 left. But Brown got behind Minnesota’s defense with 2:13 to go and added an empty-netter 59 seconds later for his sixth career hat trick.
“It’s a 4-3 game, you’re pretty excited at that moment,” Foligno said. “We felt like it was coming, and just that rush. I don’t know what really happened on that rush. … Got stuck with a weird change and they kind of came back the other way and made it 5-3 when we had all the momentum.”
Vilardi completed the scoring.
“As a group, we try to use these games to get better,” Brown said. “This time of year is actually more fun just in general, whether you’re in or out. We played a team tonight that needed points desperately, so to beat ‘em we have to play better.”
NOTES: Kings D Drew Doughty got his 500th career point with an assist on Brown’s second goal. … The Kings are 6-1-1 in their past eight home games, winning four straight. … Wild forward Kevin Fiala did not have a point, ending the longest point streak of his career at six games.
Wild: At Anaheim on Sunday night.
Kings: Host Colorado on Monday night.