Niklas Backstrom posted 22 saves to backstop the Minnesota Wild's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.
Cal Clutterbuck and Charlie Coyle each scored once to help the Wild snap a two-game skid and grab a two-point lead over the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets, who were idle on Tuesday, in the Western Conference standings.
"That's how you respond," Wild coach Mike Yeo said of his team bouncing back from back-to-back losses. "You have to deal with adversity."
Jeff Carter scored the lone Los Angeles goal, while Jonathan Bernier stopped 23-of-25 shots for the Kings, who still occupy the fourth spot in the West despite having their five-game point streak snapped.
"We didn't play three periods tonight and didn't deserve to win," said Kings forward Dustin Brown. "We knew coming in, they're fighting for a playoff spot, they're right there. They played with the determination to win tonight."
Both of Minnesota's goals came during a 16-second span late in the opening period, with the first coming on Coyle's one-timer from in front at the 16:21 mark.
Clutterbuck then doubled the Wild's advantage shortly after, as he skated into the low left circle before rifling a wrister that beat Bernier high to the short-side for a 2-0 lead.
The Kings were able to trim the margin in half heading into the third on Carter's 26th goal of the season, as the LA winger found the back of the net with a wrister from the slot with 0.8 ticks left in the second stanza.
LA nearly found the equalizer with the extra attacker late in regulation, but Backstrom, who stopped 12 shots over the final 20 minutes, made a diving save on a Slava Voynov shot from the right circle to keep the Wild in front.
Minnesota hosts Edmonton on Friday before wrapping up the regular season in Colorado on Saturday ... The Wild improved to 14-7-2 at home, while the Kings dropped to 8-11-4 on the road ... Los Angeles visits Detroit on Wednesday before finishing up its regular-season slate at home against San Jose on Saturday.