Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Drew Doughty scored the game-winner early in the third period, as the Los Angeles Kings returned home with a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Wayne Simmonds tallied a pair of goals for the Kings, who were coming off a 10-game road trip that resulted in a 6-1-3 record. Thursday's game was Los Angeles' first at Staples Center since January 26.
Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who got 25 saves from Jonathan Bernier. Brent Burns tallied a goal and an assist for the Wild, who have lost two of three. Eric Nystrom also lit the lamp for Minnesota, which got 26 saves from Niklas Backstrom.
With the score tied 2-2 in the third, Doughty collected his ninth goal of the season at the 4:39 mark. Ryan Smyth carried the puck down the left side of the ice and dropped it off for a trailing Dustin Brown at the top of the circle. Brown then slid a cross-ice pass to Doughty, who completed the play with a wrister. Kopitar added an empty-net goal with 1:14 remaining to seal the victory.
The Kings drew first blood at the 13:25 mark of the first period. Simmonds fired a wrister from the top of the slot past Backstrom to make it 1-0. Nystrom tied the game at the 4:03 mark of the second. While falling to the ice with just one hand on his stick, Nystrom somehow managed to slide the puck past Bernier.
Simmonds scored his second goal of the contest at the 10:18 mark. Kopitar slid a pass to Simmonds, whose wrister from the right circle beat Backstrom for a 2-1 lead. But Burns tied the game with 4.5 seconds left in the middle stanza. A left faceoff draw resulted in Burns' wrister.
The Kings and Wild split four meetings this season...Minnesota was without defenseman Cam Barker (upper body) and forward Kyle Brodziak (illness)...The Kings are now 10-1-3 in their last 14 games...Simmonds had his second career multi-goal game...Doughty had his third game-winning goal of the season.
For more news on tonight's game, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown.