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.