Vilardi, Quick carry the Kings to a 1-0 victory over the Wild
Gabe Vilardi scored his second straight 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 in October, when the Kings won 7-6 in Minnesota.
“The last game we played against them was pretty crazy, back and forth. It’s kind of been like that over the years, so it’s good to put up a goose egg and play well in front of Quickie, Kings defenseman Matt Roy said.
Vilardi beat Marc-Andre Fleury between the legs on a one-timer from the high lane 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 it and maybe taken this one to 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 goaltenders 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 enter the top 20 all-time.
“It’s a tough league when you’re trying to beat teams so we know we have it in us in the dressing room to play that way,” he said. “And obviously it starts with the goalkeeper. You have to save when the team needs you.”
Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty had the assists on Vilardis’ 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 STRETCH
Kirill Kaprizov received a match penalty for a retaliatory crosscheck to the jaw of Doughty with 5:12 left in the second period. Evason said Kaprizov’s frustration spilled over because of the lack of protection from the officials.
“He has the puck all the time,” Evason said. “He gets so much attention. He has it, he spins back and forth, and there are no conversations. Even before that conversation, he’s being cross-checked and mauled, and it’s like he’s frustrated. We are all frustrated because it is not taken care of and there are rules. Obviously we feel there should have been a few more penalties on a player of his size who has the puck all the time. It is not going to happen.”
NICE TO SEE YOU
The Wild welcomed back Jordan Greenway, who had appeared in just one of their first 11 games because of a nagging 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 debut on October 20 against Vancouver, but lasted just 2:58 before suffering 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 in Seattle. … Kings F Quinton Byfield has been loaned to the AHL for a rehab assignment after missing six games due to illness.
Wild: At Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night to complete Southern California back-to-back.
Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
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