Wild salvage series split with Kings

A physical battle led to a 5-3 win for the Wild.
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Kevin Fiala / Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild earned a split in their home series with the Los Angeles Kings, picking up a 5-3 win in a physical battle on Thursday night.

Bucking the trend of their slow starts at home, the Wild got to Jonathan Quick for three goals in the first period. The first one came off the stick of Marcus Johansson, who made up for a botched 4-on-1 breakaway by scoring his second goal of the season.

The Wild doubled their lead later in the first period on the tail end of a chaotic exchange which left Kappo Kahkonen down outside of the net. As Kevin Fiala blocked a shot on the defensive end, he turned it into a breakaway on the other which turned into his third goal of the season.

The third marker of the period came courtesy of the re-worked second line which included Johansson, Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov. After getting a goal earlier in the period, Johansson recorded an assist, finding a streaking Kaprizov for his second goal of the year and a 3-0 Wild lead.

Although the Wild got momentum in the first period, the Kings got it back in the second. Dustin Brown scored his third goal of the year on an early power play to bring Minnesota's lead down to 3-1 and Fiala was ejected for boarding on a hit to Matt Roy.

The Kings cashed in on the five-minute power play as Drew Doughty buried his third goal of the season to cut the lead down to 3-2. With momentum on the Kings' side, the Wild took it back with Nick Bjugstad's second goal of the season to go into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.

The Wild extended their lead in the third period when Joel Eriksson Ek scored his fifth goal of the season, but the Kings got it back on a shorthanded goal from Alex Iafallo. Although the Kings earned a 6-on-4 late in the game, the Wild were able to hold on to earn the split.

The Wild improved to 5-3 with the victory and will host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

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