Wild gain breathing room by beating Kings

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After looking a little shaky lately – particularly in a troubling loss against the Calgary Flames – the Minnesota Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 to give themselves more breathing room in the West on Tuesday.

Cal Clutterbuck expressed how important the victory is to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

“This is a huge, huge game for our team,” Clutterbuck said. “This was probably the biggest game I’ve ever played in for this franchise.”

While the Wild aren’t totally out of the woods, this victory solidifies their hold on the seventh seed in the conference (53 standings points with two games left). Other fringe teams could pass that 53-point mark, although the Phoenix Coyotes are no longer a worry for Minnesota.

On paper, they should clean up in their final duo of contests, too. They face the Edmonton Oilers at home on Friday and then finish things off with a road game against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Tuesday wasn’t all good for the Wild – they must be concerned about key trade deadline acquisition Jason Pominville after a questionable elbow by Dustin Brown – but at least they’re that much closer to locking up a spot.