Final OT

Series (Game 4 of 4)

Los Angeles leads 3-1

Game 1: Sunday, October 9th
Wild1Final
OT
Kings2
Game 2: Tuesday, February 7th
Kings1Final
Wild5
Game 3: Thursday, March 2nd
Wild2Final
Kings3
Game 4: Tuesday, March 7th
Kings3Final
OT
Wild2

Kings 3

(35-23-5, 75 pts)

Wild 2

(30-28-6, 66 pts)

8:00 PM ET, March 7, 2006

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 OT T
LA 0 0 2 13
MIN 0 1 1 02

L. Visnovsky (Kings - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

W. Walz (Wild - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

J. Roenick (Kings - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Visnovsky's OT goal lifts Kings to fifth straight win

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Two shots by Lubomir Visnovsky might ultimately keep the Minnesota Wild out of the playoffs.

Visnovsky scored 1:21 into overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings their fifth straight victory, 3-2 over Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Jeremy Roenick and Tom Kostopoulos also scored for the Kings, who have won all five games in the streak by one goal.

Wes Walz scored twice for Minnesota, his second straight two-goal game.

Visnovsky took a pass from Derek Armstrong at the blue line, made a couple of strides and beat Manny Fernandez high on the glove side with a slap shot from above the left circle. Visnovsky, who trails Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom by just a point for the NHL lead among defenseman, also scored the winner in Los Angeles' 3-2 home victory over Minnesota on Thursday night.

"I saw there was no one coming at me. The net was open a little bit high and left and I got it in," he said. "Everyone played great today. The two points were very important."

Los Angeles entered the game in seventh place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Edmonton and three behind fourth-place Nashville. Minnesota, which has won six of nine at home, started the night seven points behind the Oilers.

"We talked as a team that his was a big game," said Craig Conroy, who had two assists. "If we won we'd be up by 10 points, if we lost we'd be up by six, so we wanted to put some distance between the teams behind us. It doesn't matter how pretty the wins are, we have to get as many points as we can."

Minnesota knows it is running out of time in the playoff race.

"We still got a point," Walz said. "Some of those teams in the six-, seven-, eight-hole could come back to us very easily. We've just got to straighten some things out in our room."

Trailing 2-0 after Walz scored his second goal of the game 2:53 into the final period, Los Angeles halved the deficit at 7:01 when Roenick beat Fernandez with a fluttering shot from the left circle. The shot came after Stephane Veilleux blocked Tim Gelatin's shot, but the puck went right to Roenick.

Kostopoulos tied it 2:01 later when he took a pass from Conroy low in the right circle and beat Fernandez with a one-timer. Kostopoulos has seven points in his last six games.

"I've sat out a few games so it was nice to put up a few points and help the team," Kostopoulos said.

After managing only 10 shots in the first two periods, the Kings fired 11 shots at Fernandez in the first 12 minutes of the third period.

"It's almost like we're scared to succeed," Walz said. "When we get a two-goal lead it's almost like we're playing prevent defense and our safety is sitting down on the goal line. In years past when we got a two-goal lead it didn't matter what the score was, we were going to play the same way. We're just sitting back a little too much and waiting for something bad to happen. In most cases it does."

After a scoreless first period, Walz put Minnesota on the board 12:19 into the second. Walz waited behind the Los Angeles net for about 3 seconds before coming out on the right side and tucking the puck under Mathieu Garon.

Walz, who scored twice and had an assist Sunday in a victory over Colorado, has seven goals and seven assists in his past 10 games.

Walz added his second of the game 2:53 into the third period, scoring on a rebound of Marian Gaborik's shot. The goal came less than 30 seconds after Walz set up Gaborik, who was stopped on a left pad save by Garon, who has a win in each of his last five appearances.

Wild coach Jacques Lemaire wonders how his team came close to getting two points.

"For the way I look at the game, the way I want the guys to play, it's been a long time since we've played as bad as we did," he said. "I'm talking about teamwork, support on the ice, winning battles on the board, puck handling, driving at the net. It's not a good time to come up with a game like this."

Game notes


Los Angeles D Mattias Norstrom played his 700th game as a King, becoming the fifth player to reach the mark. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for former Minnesota Twins star Kirby Puckett, who died Monday. ... Mattias Weinhandl played his first game for Minnesota on a line with Brian Rolston and Todd White. Claimed off waivers from the New York Islanders on Sunday, Weinhandl played 14:44, after averaging 7:36 minutes with New York. ... The Kings have 13 straight penalty kills in their last four games after allowing at least one power-play goal in 11 straight games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNLosAngeles.com