Goals by Smyth, Kopitar and Williams lead Kings to 6-3 win over Wild

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

LOS ANGELES - Ryan Smyth scored two goals to help the Los Angeles Kings to a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

The Kings took a three-goal lead in the first period on scores by Smyth, Anze Kopitar and linemate Justin Williams. But Los Angeles needed third-period goals from Teddy Purcell and Smyth to overcome a late rally by the Wild, who had drawn within 4-3 on a goal by Kim Johnsson 6:24 into the final period.

Michal Handzus also scored for the Kings (2-1) and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves as the team completed a three-game homestand to open the season.

Martin Havlat and Nick Schultz had power-play goals for the Wild who were playing the first game of an 11-day, five-game trip.

Josh Harding made 17 saves for Minnesota in his first appearance of the season. He gave up goals on two of the first three shots he faced.

On Tuesday, Minnesota rallied from a 3-0 third-period deficit to beat Anaheim 4-3 in overtime, while the Kings squandered a 4-0 lead to San Jose before recovering for a 6-4 victory.

The Kings' top line of Smyth, Kopitar and Williams all had a goal and assist in the opening 11 minutes as Los Angeles built a 3-0 lead.

The Kings' penalty killers continued to struggle, however. After yielding two power-play goals to the Wild, the Kings have allowed seven man-advantage goals in 10 chances in the their first three games.

Los Angeles had the worst 5-on-5 offence in the league last season (214 goals), but the Kings have seven such goals in the last two games.

Smyth tipped in a shot by Jack Johnson giving the Kings a 1-0 lead 67 seconds into the game. Williams deflected a shot by Drew Doughty under Harding just over 2 minutes later.

Kopitar finished a sharp 2-on-1 break with Smyth midway through the period for his third goal of the season and the Kings led 3-0.

The Wild converted on the its first power-play opportunity, as Havlat one-timed a shot from the slot past Quick 22 seconds after Sean O'Donnell was called for interference.

Handzus beat Harding with a shot from left circle to regain a three-goal lead for Los Angeles at 11:02 of the second. But Schultz lifted a backhander past Quick during a power play 4 minutes later. It was the first power-play goal by Schultz since Jan. 17, 2004.

NOTES: O'Donnell played his first game of the season after completing a five-game suspension that carried over from an altercation during the pre-season. ... Minnesota F Pierre-Marc Bouchard missed a second game while being evaluated for a possible concussion. ... The Kings start a six-game trip in St. Louis on Saturday.

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