The Minnesota Wild moved closer toward securing a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a victory over the red-hot L.A. Kings on Monday.
The Wild trailed going into the third period, but got goals from Matt Moulson and Mikko Koivu one minute and two seconds apart to defeat the Kings by a final score of 3-2 and stop L.A.’s winning streak at six games.
The Wild, who during the game announced the signing of college free agent defenseman Christian Folin, remain in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, but move five points up on the eighth-place Phoenix Coyotes.
The game featured a pair of controversial open-ice hits by Kings’ defenseman Jake Muzzin (click here to see his hit on Nino Niederreiter in the first period and click here to see his hit on Jason Pominville in the second period).
Muzzin’s hit on Pominville drew a response from Moulson, who grabbed the L.A. blue liner and tossed him to the ice. Moulson received four minutes for roughing, and Muzzin a minor for roughing.
“It was a real impressive character win as far as I’m concerned,” said Wild head coach Mike Yeo, as per Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press.
It wasn’t all good news for the Wild, however. Niederreiter left the game in the first period after the Muzzin hit and did not return. Forward Mikael Granlund also left the game after the second period.
According to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, both players suffered upper-body injuries appearing to be to the head.
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Again, there were three fast goals overall, with Boston getting two of them. Here’s the Red Wings goal, which narrowly survived a review:
Things didn’t really slow down that much after that, as Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 for the Bruins.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
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As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.