St. Paul, MN – Erik Christensen scored the winner in the shootout as Minnesota took a 4-3 win over Los Angeles.
In the see-saw battle for the Pacific Division, Los Angeles currently sits on top with 91 points, but that is just two better of Phoenix, which is winning big against Anaheim, and Dallas, which is currently battling a San Jose team that is three points behind the top spot in the division.
Christensen had a goal and an assist while Darroll Powe and Nick Johnson also scored for the Wild, who have won their past two. Niklas Backstrom posted 26 stops.
"I don't know if we can enjoy any win right now because we'd like to be in the playoff race right now," said Backstrom. "But you want to finish strong because it's gong to be a long summer for us no matter how we finish, so we'd like to finish with some wins."
Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists while Brad Richardson scored twice for the Kings, who had won their past two coming in. Jonathan Bernier made 20 stops in the loss.
"It was a disappointing outcome tonight without a doubt," said Brown. "But if you take a step back and look at what we've done lately, it's pretty good. Still every point is needed right now because you guys can see the standings."
Christensen scored on a wrister to the left side in the first round of the shootout and Backstrom followed with a stop of Justin Williams. Mikko Koivu then lifted a backhander into the net and Backstrom stopped Mike Richards for the win.
Minnesota struck just 40 seconds in when a right circle faceoff win saw Nate Prosser blast a shot on net from the right point that Powe redirected into the net from in front.
The Kings answered less than three minutes later as a wrister from Anze Kopitar at the left circle saw Richardson clean up the rebound to the right of the net.
Moments after that goal, though, the Wild took a 2-1 lead as a turnover in the neutral zone saw Jason Zucker take the puck in down the left wing and cut to the front with Johnson cleaning up the garbage in front.
Skating on the power play, Los Angeles tied the contest again as Richards snapped a shot on net from the top of the left circle with Brown jamming the rebound between the pads of Backstrom with 4:29 to play in the first.
The Kings took their first lead of the game 57 seconds into the second. Richardson left a drop pass at the left circle for Kopitar, who blasted a shot on net that was tipped away by a Wild defender. However, Richardson picked up the disc behind the net and wrapped it in from the right side for a 3-2 advantage.
Minnesota scored the only goal of the third period to tie the game after Christensen left a drop pass in the slot for Zucker, who fired a shot on net. The shot was deflected, but it then went off the left skate of Christensen and went into the net. The goal was reviewed to see if it was kicked in, but replay confirmed the goal and the game was tied with 9:03 to play.
Devin Setoguchi was awarded a penalty shot at the 3:42 mark of overtime when he was hauled down from behind on a breakaway from Alec Martinez, but his wrist shot went off the left post.
The Kings host Edmonton on Monday...Minnesota plays in Chicago on Sunday...Each team won twice in the season series...The Kings went 1-for-4 on the power play while Minnesota was 0-for-4.