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Wild Pluck Jewels from the Kings' Crown 4-1

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It was the second of a back-to-back after the Wild defeated the Calgary Flames the night before. Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu combined for four goals as the Wild chase Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings out of town.

It was an even first period as the Wild were getting the better of the shot attempts for most of the period. The period, and game for that matter, was different from other back-to-backs in recent weeks where the Wild had to weather the storm in the first just to have a chance. No, the Wild took it to the Kings in the first period. Chris Stewart passed the puck up the half wall to Koivu who found Niederreiter all alone in front of the Kings' net and he didn't miss. Nino made a slick, but patient move in front of Jonathan Quick and put home a backhander. Ten minutes later, Koivu got one of his own as Stewart gave him a leading centering pass, and unlike his one handed tip goal he had against the Flames, Koivu roofed a back-hander over Quick's glove. The Wild finished with a 9-7 shot advantage and a 2 goal lead.

Martin Jones replaced Quick as the teams came out for the second period. The Kings really took control of the puck possession as the forecheck of the Wild disappeared after the its second goal. Dwight King scored to cut the lead in half after the Wild failed to clear the zone. Tyler Toffoli kept the puck in at the blue line and got the puck down to the wing to Jeff Carter. Carter then found King open on the back side for the one-timer. Minnesota had to weather more of the storm in the second period. Minnesota's Erik Haula took a hooking call, and then on the insuing penalty kill, Ryan Suter took a slashing penalty giving the Kings 20 seconds of a two-man advantage. Toffoli had a wide open net to shoot at as the rebound caromed off of Dubnyk's right pad, but Jonas Brodin got just enough of the puck to steer it wide of the goalmouth. The NHL's best power play was able to kill off both power plays and stay perfect for the game. The Kings out-shot the Wild 17-5 in the period.

Minnesota would not get their first power play until the third period. The first power play wasn't much of anything to be proud of as unforced turnovers by Mikael Granlund killed any zone time for the second unit. The failed power play was followed up with yet another successful kill of a Marco Scandella high sticking minor. As the Kings still maintained much of the control of the puck in the Wild's end, Toffoli tripped Ryan Suter and was sent to the sin bin. Mike Yeo decided to not assemble his power play units but instead continued to roll his lines. Jared Spurgeon took a shot with Niederreiter causing havoc in front of Jones. Niederreiter deflected the puck in for his second of the game and the Wild took a 3-1 lead. Then Darryl Sutter pulled Jones with 1:52 remaining in the game and Koivu added an empty-netter from the neutral zone to seal the deal.

Mikko Koivu passed Marian Gaborik for the most multi-point games in franchise history with 115.

Minnesota won the special teams battle in the game and it was the difference outside of Devan Dubnyk.

Ryan Carter made his first return to game action after missing 23 with a shoulder injury.

The Wild have passed the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division as they are now 3rd behind the St. Louis Blues. With four days off until the Wild play the New York Rangers, the third place position is likely to be short-lived.

Here is the game's 5v5 Corsi chart:

MINvLA32815