Niederreiter, Wild Prevail Over Kings In Shootout Win
The Los Angeles Kings were quite impressed.
Kuemper made 17 of his 39 saves during the first period in his fifth NHL start, a 2-1 victory over the Kings on Tuesday night.
Nino Niederreiter scored the tying goal early in the third period and netted the only goal in a four-round shootout.
Kuemper's earlier outings were forgettable. On Oct. 15, he allowed three goals on seven shots before getting pulled from his start at Toronto. On Nov. 19, he let in three goals on nine shots in a relief appearance at Montreal.
The Wild, playing their first game since captain and leading scorer Mikko Koivu broke his ankle Saturday at Washington, have won three straight for the first time since Nov. 1-5.
Jarret Stoll scored for the Kings, and Jonathan Quick made 16 saves in his second straight start after missing 24 games because of a groin injury.
Coming off a 5-3 victory in which they were outshot 30-11 by the Capitals, the Wild were outshot 30-9 by the Kings through the first two periods.
Kuemper stopped seven shots during the Kings' first power play, which came after Matt Cooke was sent off for slashing at 6:47 of the second. The 6-foot-5 goalie got a break midway through the period, when Dwight King hit the right post with a shot from the left point after a turnover by defenseman Keith Ballard.
Another Kings scoring chance came with about five minutes left in the first when Jeff Carter stickhandled around Ryan Suter in the left circle and found King cruising down the slot, but he fanned on the shot.
The Kings are 1-5-1 in their past seven games and have scored only 10 goals during that stretch.
The Kings got on the board 50 seconds into the third. Carter got the puck from King along the right boards in the Minnesota zone and circled the net before setting up Stoll in the low slot. It was Stoll's sixth of the season and first in his past 12 games against the Wild.
Minnesota tied it at 3:25 when Jason Pominville set up Niederreiter in front of the crease with a pass from the right point after Niederreiter got a step behind defenseman Drew Doughty.
It was the ninth goal for the third-year forward, who was named to Switzerland's Olympic roster.
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