LA Kings vs. Wild: Three takeaways in 5-3 loss against Wild

LA Kings (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings Matt Roy
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) /

The LA Kings lose the game and key players.

The LA Kings game versus the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night was a battle for second place in the NHL Honda West Division. The Kings began this season with two heartbreaking losses to these very Minnesota Wild but ground out a 2-1 win over their foes from the State of Hockey at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night.

There would be one lineup change from the other night as Andreas Athanasiou is in the NHL COVID protocol, so speedy winger Austin Wagner would take his place. With Jonathan Quick manning their crease, the LA Kings went into the game looking to return the favor from the beginning of the season by sweeping the Wild on their home ice.

There was an intensity in the air right off the hop, as it only took three seconds for Kurtis MacDermid and Marcus Foligno to drop the gloves. After the scrap, however, it was all Wild for the entire first period, and they went into the intermission with a 3-0 lead.

The LA Kings came out in the second period on a mission. They drew two early power plays and capitalized on the second one when an Anze Kopitar wrist shot banked off Dustin Brown and into the Minnesota net.

Then, during a five-minute major power play, Drew Doughty lit the lamp to bring the Kings within a goal. Despite dominating most of the second period, the Kings would give up a goal with 1:27 left in the frame when Nick Bjugstad banged home a rebound to increase Minnesota’s lead to  4-2.

The Kings played most of the third period with only four defensemen. This is a tough task when defending a lead, but it is even more difficult when trailing. Things got worse when Joel Eriksson Ek scored on a goal that probably should have been stopped.

To the Kings’ credit, they never gave up, though, and got an Alex Iafallo goal about halfway through the period to give the team some hope. That would be it for the scoring, however, and the LA Kings would lose 5-3.

So what are the takeaways from Thursday night’s game?