Vilardi, Quick carry Kings to 1-0 win over Wild
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gabe Vilardi scored his second consecutive game-winning goal, Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Minnesota Wild 1-0 on Tuesday night.
It was a much different game than back in October, when the Kings won 7-6 at Minnesota.
“The last game we played against them was pretty crazy, back and forth. It’s kind of been like that throughout the years, so it’s good to put up a goose egg and play good in front of Quickie,” Kings defenseman Matt Roy said.
Vilardi beat Marc-Andre Fleury between his legs on a one-timer from the high slot with 6:03 left.
“In my mind, I want to stop them all, right? It doesn’t matter what the score is,” Fleury said. “Obviously, I wish I could have stopped that one and maybe dragged this one into overtime.”
That was all Quick needed as he posted his second shutout against the Wild and the 57th of his distinguished career. He is second among active goalies in shutouts, and Quick moved into a tie with early goaltending pioneer Clint Benedict of the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Maroons for 22nd in career shutouts.
Quick needs two more to move into the top 20 all-time.
“It’s a tough league when you’re trying to outscore teams, so we know we have it in us in that locker room to play that way,” he said. “And obviously, it starts with goaltending. You need to make saves when the team needs you.”
Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty had the assists on Vilardi’s 10th goal of the season to help the Kings earn their third straight home win.
Vilardi tied his career high in goals, hitting the mark in 15 games after needing 54 during the 2020-21 campaign.
Fleury stopped 29 shots in the loss.
“We did a lot of good things in this hockey game,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We just didn’t get (to overtime) there, but our group played well enough to, I hate to say deserved better, but we should have been in a better position at the end.”
HACK AND SLASH
Kirill Kaprizov received a match penalty for a retaliatory cross-check to the jaw of Doughty with 5:12 remaining in the second period. Evason said Kaprizov’s frustration spilled over because of a lack of protection from the officials.
“He has the puck all the time,” Evason said. “He’s getting so much attention. He has it, he’s spinning back and forth, and there’s no calls. Even prior to that call, he’s getting cross-checked and mauled, and it’s like, he’s frustrated. We’re all frustrated because it’s not taken care of, and there’s rules. Obviously, we feel that there should be some more penalties called on a player of his stature who has the puck all the time. It’s not happening.”
NICE TO SEE YOU
The Wild welcomed back forward Jordan Greenway, who had appeared in only one of their first 11 games because of a troublesome left shoulder. He had surgery over the summer, keeping him out of training camp and the first three games of the season.
Greenway made his season debut Oct. 20 against Vancouver but lasted just 2:58 before sustaining an injury to the same shoulder unrelated to the offseason procedure.
NOTES: Wild F Marcus Foligno (upper body) participated in a morning skate and could return as soon as Friday at Seattle. … Kings F Quinton Byfield has been loaned to the AHL for a rehabilitation assignment after missing six games because of illness.
Wild: At the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night to complete the Southern California back-to-back.
Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
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