Kuemper blanks Kings as Wild end five-game losing streak

Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) Zach Parise scored Minnesota’s first power-play goal in January, Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves in his seventh career shutout and the Wild snapped their five-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Erik Haula added a short-handed goal for the Wild, who pulled out of their tailspin with a gritty effort against the Pacific Division leaders. Charlie Coyle scored on a breakaway during a solid offensive performance by a team that had scored just one goal in its previous nine periods.

Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots for the Kings, who lost in regulation for just the third time in 13 games since Christmas. Los Angeles was shut out for just the second time in 43 games since the opening week of the season.

Minnesota thrived with big performances on special teams. Parise started the scoring off a pass from Thomas Vanek, ending the Wild’s 0-for-25 drought across 12 games since Dec. 28 on the power play.

Los Angeles then gave up a 2-on-1 short-handed rush early in the third, and Haula converted Mikko Koivu‘s pass for his second short-handed goal of the year.

Jordan Nolan had the Kings’ best scoring chance late in the second, but Kuemper stopped him at point-blank range. Kuemper looked sharp in his first victory and second appearance for the Wild since Dec. 22.

Minnesota forward Jarret Stoll played at Staples Center for the first time since the two-time Stanley Cup champion left the Kings as a free agent last summer. The Kings honored him with a video tribute during a first-period break, and Los Angeles fans rose for a standing ovation.

Stoll was a dependable two-way center and a Kings leader, but his offensive production declined sharply before his departure, and the Kings didn’t re-sign him after he was arrested and eventually charged with two misdemeanors relating to alleged drug possession in Las Vegas shortly after the Kings’ season ended last April. He struggled with the New York Rangers this year before getting waived and catching on with the Wild.

Coyle scored with 13.6 seconds left in the second period after a Kings defensive change and an alley-oop pass from Marco Scandella left him alone on Quick. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter used his challenge to argue Coyle was offside, but the play stood.

Related: As Wild’s offense goes dry, Parise feeling the pressure to produce

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.