Kings win review, then roll over Wild, 7-3

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With Halloween less than two weeks away, perhaps it was appropriate that the Minnesota Wild were beaten by what appeared to be a phantom goal on Thursday.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice in the last minute of the first period to break a 2-2 tie, the first of which he appeared to have kicked through Marc-Andre Fleury’s legs, and Minnesota never recovered in a 7-3 loss at Xcel Energy Center.

Connor Dewar, Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek scored for the Wild, and Fleury stopped 21 of 26 shots.

Former Wild goaltender Cam Talbot, who was traded after the Wild signed Fleury to a two-year contract extension in July 2021, stopped 30 shots for the Kings. After pulling within two goals on Eriksson Ek’s third-period goal, the Wild pulled Fleury with just under 3 minutes to play and Los Angeles added a pair of empty-net goals.

The Kings rallied from a 2-1 deficit, getting the go-ahead goal late in the first period when Dubois beat Connor Dewar for a blind outlet pass from Kevin Fiala and somehow got it to roll between Fleury’s pads with 58 seconds left.

But Dubois kicked the puck to help him gain control, and it appeared neither he nor Dewar got another stick on it. The NHL office reviewed the play and declared the goal good.

“Review determined his stick made contact with the puck before it crossed the line,” Kris King, NHL executive vice president of hockey operations said in an email.

Twelve seconds later, Dubois scored from the slot and the Kings took a 4-2 lead into the intermission.

The Wild created a slew of good scoring chances over the next 30 minutes but none of them found the net, and Trevor Moore put the final nail in their coffin when he got a rebound off a blocked shot in the high slot and beat Fleury to make it 5-2 at 10:13 of the third period.

Freddy Gaudreau hit a post in the first period. Joel Eriksson Ek had two point-blank shots from the crease, and a Ryan Hartman one-timer was deflected high. Mats Zuccarello was stopped from the slot, and a Jonas Brodin one-timer missed the net with 23.9 seconds left in the frame.

The Kings scored just 2:39 into the first period when Carl Gundstrom took a pass behind the net and skated out into the right circle. His wrist shot glanced off Fleury and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

But the Wild tied it fairly quickly when Jon Merrill dumped a puck into the offensive zone off the glass and it bounced right to a rushing Dewar, who skated through the slot and fired a diagonal shot behind him that found the far corner to make it 1-1.

That gave the Wild some life, and less than 2 minutes later, they finished a long forecheck with a goal from Kaprizov. Brodin, who helped keep the puck on Wild sticks with a timely pinch, skated back into the high slot and fired a one-timer on a pass from Zuccarello. Kaprizov, who scored his first goal of the season in Tuesday’s victory at Montreal, redirected it past Talbot for a 2-1 lead at 8 minutes.

The Kings challenged for an offsides call but lost on review, but the Wild couldn’t make hay on the ensuing power play, although Gaudreau hit a crossbar, and Los Angeles regained the initiative.

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