LA Kings Minnesota Wild

The LA Kings topped the Minnesota Wild in a much different type of game than when these two teams met in a shootout last month. Gabe Vilardi’s tally in the third period was the lone goal of the night, backing Jonathan Quick‘s 57th career shutout.

However, it was Kirill Kaprizov‘s major penalty on Drew Doughty with just over five minutes remaining in the second period that garnered much of the national headlines. With the puck below the Kings’ net, Blake Lizotte and Doughty were the two Los Angeles players battling for the puck. Kaprizov gained control of the puck, but just as he dished the puck back to the point, he turned and appeared to cross-check Doughty in the face.

Kaprizov was given a match penalty.

Following the game, Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason offered his thoughts on the play.

“He’s getting so much attention. He has (the puck), he’s spinning back and forth, and there’s no calls. Even prior to that call, he’s getting crosschecked and mauled and he’s frustrated, right? We’re all frustrated because that’s not taken care of. There’s rules and obviously we feel that there should be some more penalties called on a player of his stature who has the puck all the time. It’s not happening,” he said.

Kaprizov will have a meeting with George Parros and the NHL Player Safety to determine if a suspension is warranted. His status for Wednesday’s game in Anaheim could be in question.

“The way that we saw it, he hit him with his glove like that’s what we saw,’ Evason elaborated further on the play.

In a physical, back-and-forth game, the Wild had just one powerplay compared to the LA Kings’ four. Los Angeles couldn’t generate much in the way of any scoring chances on their man advantages, including the five-minute major for Kaprizov’s penalty.

“I mean, one powerplay, you kidding me? And it was a token power play. Like, it’s unbelievable,” Evason said of the lack of calls in Minnesota’s favor. “We don’t want to whine, but it’s a joke. We have one powerplay? And it’s for their guy holding our guy at the penalty box. So thank you. We got mauled at the end. We’re trying to score, we’re trying to get in, and the whistle is gone.

“There’s a holding called on Zuccarello in the first five minutes in the neutral zone when the puck is nowhere around. We’re trying to go through the neutral zone at the end, and we’re just getting grabbed and then held and bear hugged. It’s ridiculous.”

Featured Image Credit: Sportsnet

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