The Wild were able to muster just enough energy to tie the game in the third period to secure a point in a game where it really had no business in. Wild fans were also treated to a frenzied 3-on-3 overtime, it's first franchise 3v3 overtime period. With chances a-plenty, Anze Kopitar ended the game with a shot over the blocker of Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper.
If there is one tangible positive to take away from Friday's game, it's that Darcy Kuemper almost single-handedly stole the one point in the standings. He made save, after save, after save, after save (get the point?) to give his Wild players a chance to find their legs. He was moving well laterally, tracking the puck well, and played big in the net. As the game wore on, as he made more and more saves, you could see him get stronger and stronger.
The first goal for the Kings was scored by Tyler Toffoli on the power play. It was a broken coverage and a failure to slow down Jeff Carter at the blue line that led to the goal. Kuemper was almost there as he slid from right to left, but it's tough for even the best goalies to make a save on that shot. Kuemper did exactly what he needed to do to make a statement about his game and to prove that he is more than capable of playing in big spots.
The Wild was out-shot 32 to 14 through 40 minutes of hockey. The Kings controlled the play and the ice was tilted to the Wild defensive end. Los Angeles led in shot attempts 38 to 12 through two periods. They were sloppy, they were slow, and zone exiting was a chore Friday night.
Something changed in the locker room during the second intermission and the Wild displayed a much better effort in the third period. They finally forced the Kings to take penalties and the Wild used the power play to tie the game. Mikko Koivu tallied his second goal of the season when the rebound from a Zach Parise shot caromed right to him. A backhand from the slot pulled the Wild even with the Kings on the scoreboard. The Wild had two more power plays, including one that came with 2:03 remaining, but the Wild couldn't find that go-ahead goal.
To overtime and the first Wild 3v3 overtime ever. It was nuts and everything that 3v3 was billed. Matt Dumba had a break and a juicy rebound to try and end it, but the puck skipped by Dumba's second attempt. Anze Kopitar then ended that game with a wrister over the blocker of Kuemper on the counter-attack.
Minnesota went short-handed four times, played most of the game 5-on-5 as if it were a penalty kill, and was able to kill 3 of the four penalties. The Kings took five penalties in the game and the game-tying goal was scored by Koivu on the power play. The power play looks like it's starting to really click. The penalty kill still can look chaotic at best at times, but it is appears to be getting better.
The Wild will now travel down Highway 5 to Anaheim and will take on the Ducks. The Ducks are winless in their first four games of the season going 0-3-1.