Injuries early in the season caused a constant shuffle in the lineup and the Wild have lost 259 man games to various ailments. However, trades have also impacted the roster and the Wild debuted three new players in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Sharks.
Defenseman Kurtis Foster and forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux all skated for the Wild one day after they were acquired from New Jersey for unhappy defenseman Marek Zidlicky and helped spark Minnesota to its third victory in four games.
Head coach Mike Yeo said secondary scoring was key to the win. Schultz scored his first of the season from the blue line and Ortmeyer, who had the game- winner, lit the lamp for the first time since March 28, 2010 while a member of the Sharks.
"Obviously there's going to be games that when you win, the guys that you count on to score and guys you expect to score, but if you're going to win more than the odd game then you have to have games that it's your defenseman or your power play or your third and fourth lines score and we have a little bit of all that tonight," said Yeo.
Though the 29-year-old Schultz finally lit the lamp, the Wild made the tough decision to trade the well-liked blueliner to Edmonton on Monday for a more offensive-minded defenseman in Tom Gilbert. Schultz, a second-round pick by the Wild in 2000, leaves as the club's all-time leader in games played with 743.
"He is, to me anyway, what this city and this franchise is all about. That's the best way to put it. He has been for 10 years so it's a big loss for us," said a shocked Clutterbuck.
Gilbert, also 29 and a Minnesota native, has only three goals in 47 games this year but has posted 158 career points in 384 games.
The Kings made their big move days before the deadline, getting center Jeff Carter from Columbus last Thursday for defenseman Jack Johnson and a draft pick. Los Angeles has split two games since the trade, with Carter's presence sparking the struggling offense in a 4-0 win over Chicago on Saturday.
However, the Kings' offensive struggles returned last night in a 2-1 loss to the Predators. Dustin Brown, who had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday's win, prevented the shutout when he scored with 3:24 remaining.
Jonathan Quick stopped 26 shots in Los Angeles' fifth loss in six games.
"I thought we played really well. I don't think it had anything to do with bounces. It's a tough building to come into, a tough team. We pretty well matched them. We just didn't bear down and finish opportunities. We had some great opportunities and didn't finish the job," said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.
Los Angeles has fallen five points behind Phoenix for first place in the Pacific Division and also trails Dallas and Colorado by two points for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
The Kings and Wild have split two meetings so far this year -- both in Los Angeles -- and the Kings have won four of their past six in Minnesota.