Last season, there was no place like home for the Minnesota Wild. Not because the Wild had played well at home, but because they had actually struggled to the tune of a 16-18-7 record. Entering this season, the Wild had to make playing better at the Xcel Energy Center a priority and in their first four home games this season, they have shown an extra emphasis on winning in St. Paul.
The latest home effort came on Saturday night, where the Wild got off to a strong start and used three third-period goals to pick up a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Wild took control of the game in the first period despite being outshot and when Matt Dumba crashed the net in front of Jonathan Quick, Gerald Mayhew was there for the deflection and his second goal of the season to put Minnesota on the board at the 5:50 mark.
The Kings would find the equalizer on Ben Hutton's first goal of the season at 4:29 of the second period, but Eric Staal regained the lead for the Wild with his third goal of the season from Jason Zucker to take a 2-1 advantage going into the final period.
In the third, the Wild put a dominant touch on another home victory scoring 28 seconds in with Joel Eriksson Ek's first goal of the season to make it a 3-1 lead. The Wild would spend the rest of the game padding their lead as Mikko Koivu scored his first goal of the season and Jared Spurgeon scored his second goal of the year.
The offense helped Alex Stalock, who was filling in for an injured Devan Dubnyk between the pipes, making 29 saves on 30 shots for his second win of the season. as the Wild prevailed for the third time in four home games this season.
With Minnesota (4-7-0) also picking up three wins in their last four overall games, they'll look to keep the momentum going as they head into a Central Division back-to-back with a trip to Dallas on Tuesday and St. Louis on Wednesday.