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Harding stops 35 shots in Minnesota's 2-1 victory over Kings

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Harding stops 35 shots in Minnesota's 2-1 victory over Kings

The Canadian Press
By:

LOS ANGELES - Josh Harding made 35 saves, Brian Rolston scored during a 5-on-3 power play, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Saturday night.

Harding, who stopped Michal Handzus on a breakaway at 10:37 of the first period with Minnesota leading 1-0, lost his shutout bid with 1:12 remaining after the Kings pulled goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin for an extra attacker. Michael Cammalleri threw the puck toward the net from the outside of the right circle and it caromed in off the skate of teammate Rob Blake.

This was the first time the Wild have won consecutive games with Harding in net, following his 28-save effort in Friday's 5-2 won over Anaheim. He made four straight starts without a victory Oct. 25-Nov. 1, then made three starts in a row Nov. 16-21 and lost twice.

Marian Gaborik also scored for Minnesota, 11-12-1 following a 7-0-1 start, which included a 4-3 shootout loss to the Kings on Oct. 16.

Gaborik opened the scoring 3:48 in on Minnesota's first shot. Teammate Kim Johnsson made a clearing pass off the boards from behind his net, and Gaborik caught up to the puck before skating in alone on Aubin. He beating him high to the stick side for his 12th goal.

Los Angeles had a great chance to tie it when Handzus intercepted an attempted cross-ice pass by Johnsson just inside the Kings blue line and sped the other way. But Harding made a glove save on the breakaway.

The Kings were called for too many men on the ice at 4:54 of the second, and Minnesota's power play became a two-man advantage 45 seconds later when Anze Kopitar was sent off for holding. Rolston scored with 49 seconds left on the first penalty, beating Aubin from the slot for a 2-0 lead.

The Wild, who scored during a 5-on-3 advantage for one of their four power-play goals Friday, had scored only twice with a two-man advantage during their first 30 games before arriving in Southern California.

Left winger Alexander Frolov returned to the Kings lineup after missing 11 games because of a groin injury. He was the only forward to play in all 82 games for the Kings last season and led the team with a career-high 35 goals.

Notes: When Minnesota hosts Nashville on Tuesday night, Jacques Lemaire will become the 14th NHL coach with 1,000 regular-season games behind the bench - fourth among active coaches, joining Mike Keenan, Jacques Martin and Ron Wilson. Los Angeles' Marc Crawford needs 62 more to reach 1,000. ... Gaborik has 14 goals in 22 games against Los Angeles. ... The Kings were a season-worst 0-for-8 on the power play and the Wild were 1-for-8. ... During its previous six games, Minnesota was short-handed a total of 10 times and was on the power play 32 times.

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Harding stops 35 shots in Minnesota's 2-1 victory over Kings