ST. PAUL, Minn. — Carl Grundstrom broke a tie in the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.
Kurtis MacDermid scored, and Calvin Petersen made 32 saves in his first win of the season for the Kings (3-2-2), who have won two in a row and three of four.
“I think I’ve kind of been better each performance, and now things are starting to come together a little bit,” said Petersen (1-2-0), who made 13 saves in the third period. “Being able to win is the main thing, and so anytime I can do that I feel confident in my game.”
Joel Eriksson Ek scored, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 19 saves for the Wild (4-3-0), who have lost two straight.
“I think [Los Angeles] made a pretty good job of taking away our speed in the neutral zone in the first period,” said Eriksson Ek, who has scored three goals in the past four games. “We couldn’t really get through. I think it got better in the second and third, but yeah, we want to get out there, we want to get that first goal and we couldn’t do it today.”
The teams play again here Thursday, their fourth game against each other this season. Minnesota won the first two, both in overtime by a 4-3 score, on Jan. 14 and 16 in Los Angeles in the opening two games for each team.
Grundstrom gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead with a wrist shot at 5:08 after skating to the top of the slot.
MacDermid had put the Kings ahead 1-0 at 4:02 of the second period when he scored from a sharp angle on a 3-on-2.
“I thought the second and third, we played a really good game and deserved more on the scoreboard,” Wild forward Marcus Foligno said. “But … [trailing in games] always catches up to you. I think it’s just that desperate hockey.”
Eriksson Ek tied it 1-1 on a wraparound at 1:09 of the third. The Kings challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld after video review.
“We won,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “Not the way we want to win tonight, but a win is a win.
“The trenches, the stick battles, the body blows in the corners, the little 2- or 3-foot plays, I think we have to get much better in those areas against this team and a lot of other teams. We’re capable of it. We’ve just got to get more out of the guys.”
NOTES: The Kings scored first for the first time in their seven games this season. … Grundstrom scored in a second straight game for the second time in his NHL career. He did it for Los Angeles on March 9 and 10, 2019, in his first two NHL games. … Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play. The Wild are 0-for-14 against the Kings this season and 2-for-30 overall.