Wild visit Kings with offense revving up

The Minnesota Wild have won twice in three games during stops at Anaheim, San Jose and Arizona, and in the one defeat against the Sharks on Thursday, the offense revved itself up in a 6-5 defeat, scoring three goals in the third period to make things interesting.

Now comes a Tuesday road game against a Los Angeles Kings team the Wild defeated 5-1 at home on Oct. 26. It is the largest margin of victory in any of the Minnesota's six wins this season.

Signs of life actually started before the current road trip, when the Wild were fighting through a three-game losing streak. Two of those defeats were in consecutive games and each by one goal to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. The second of those came right before the road trip and was a 4-3 heartbreaker at home in overtime.

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Minnesota since has posted a 4-2 victory over the Ducks on Nov. 5 and a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday, in addition to the defensive letdown against the Sharks.

Right winger Ryan Hartman scored the game-winning goal early in the third period against Arizona as Minnesota pieced together three consecutive goals to rally for the victory.

"Well, we watch video on offense almost every day, and we seem to have a certain thing that we do pretty well," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We just preach to keep doing it. If you look (Saturday), I think we had 15 shots attempted in the first period and 30 in the second. So, I mean, you shoot the puck and go to the net, usually good things happen."

The Kings used a similar shoot-often approach early in the season, but it still wasn't serving them well. They won just four times in the opening month of the season and closed October on a four-game losing streak.

November has been just as unfriendly. The Kings opened the month with an overtime victory over Chicago, then went 0-2-1 on just-concluded road trip through Canada, with stops at Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The Kings did have more shots on goal than the Maple Leafs on Nov. 5, but it was still an empty road trip aside from the one point in an overtime defeat to the Senators.

The Kings were outscored 9-5 on the trip. so it wasn't as if they were dominated. But with one victory in their past eight games (1-6-1), there are not a lot of positives. The coaching staff is still trying to get a full game out of the team.

Los Angeles managed to win both of the final two periods against the Canadiens on Saturday, but they still couldn't make up the 3-0 deficit they faced after the first 20 minutes.

"The first period, it was a sloppy period and you can't spot a team three goals," Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. "We had a good second, a good third, but we've talked about this enough so far. I mean, it's been (17) games in, you can't play 40 minutes, or 45, or 55, you've got to play the full 60."

--Field Level Media

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