LOS ANGELES — Ryan Hartman got the last laugh.
After getting tangled up with Kings defenseman Drew Doughty early in his shift, Hartman found a sliver of open ice on the other side of the net. With nobody around him, Hartman corralled a pretty pass from Marcus Foligno in front, then quickly rifled a shot into the back of the net. He added insult to injury with a heck of a celebration, pumping his arms up and down, very much in Doughty’s direction.
That goal proved to be the back-breaker as the Wild ran away with a 3-2 win over the Kings on Saturday night at Staples Center. That win helped the Wild improve to 2-0-0 heading into the home opener against the rival Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Aside from Hartman, the Wild also got goals from Freddy Gaudreau and Victor Rask in the game, and Cam Talbot posted 29 saves to record the win.
After a scoreless first period, both teams got rolling in the second period, starting with a goal from Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson to make it 1-0.
Fortunately for the Wild, that deficit only lasted 54 seconds before Gaudreau buried a pinpoint pass from Kevin Fiala in front to level the score at 1-1. Then, later in the frame, Rask collected a pass from Kirill Kaprizov and scored to make it 2-1 in favor of the Wild.
It looked like Brandon Duhaime had scored the first goal of his NHL career later in the second period to stretch the lead to 3-1. That said, upon further review, the officials ruled that Duhaime interfered with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick on the play.
While that call wiped the goal off the board, and took away Duhaime’s goal, Hartman scored less than 30 seconds later to make it 3-1, for real this time.
With the Wild trying to put the game away in the third period, Kings center Anze Kopitar scored a lucky goal off the rush to cut the deficit to 3-2. He misfired with his shot attempt and the puck deflected into the back of the net off of Matt Dumba’s skate.
In the end, though, the Wild tightened up down the stretch with Talbot making a big save in the waning seconds.