LOS ANGELES (AP) Justin Williams and Jeff Carter scored 98 seconds apart on the first two shots of the game, Williams added a goal on Los Angeles’ first shot of the second period, and the Kings beat the Minnesota Wild 3-0 on Thursday night behind Jonathan Bernier’s first shutout of the season.
Bernier made 23 saves en route to his sixth NHL shutout and first since Feb. 12, 2012 – also against the Wild at Minnesota. The five-year veteran is 9-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average in 10 starts in which he got the decision.
Williams extended his goal streak to five games, eclipsing his previous career best. He picked up a loose puck along the boards in the Kings zone, after a long wrist shot from the right point by Mikko Koivu went wide, and carried it deep into the Minnesota end before putting a wrist shot past Niklas Backstrom’s stick at 1:29.
Mike Richards set up the second goal with a perfect pass deep in the right circle to Carter, who got behind Devin Setoguchi and slid his 21st goal through Backstrom’s pads before many in the sellout crowd had found their seats.
Minnesota coach Mike Yeo replaced the six-year veteran with Darcy Kuemper, who faced only four shots the rest of the period.
It was the second time Backstrom was pulled from a game this season and the first since March 5, when he gave up four goals on 17 shots in the first period of a loss at Chicago. It was Kuemper’s first appearance since he relieved him in that game.
Williams made it 3-0 at 3:52 of the second with his 10th goal. He took a long lead pass at the red line from Anze Kopitar and beat Kuemper high to the glove side with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
The defending Stanley Cup champions, who had just 14 shots, returned from a 3-1-1 road trip that followed back-to-back shutout losses at home to Dallas and Vancouver.
Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr and Minnesota forward Jason Pominville played their first game with their new teams. They were teammates with the Buffalo Sabres before traded two days apart.
Regehr was credited with an assist on Williams’ second goal.
NOTES: Wild LW Dany Heatley (injured wrist) was scratched for the first time this season. He was injured during an altercation with San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the end of Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss. … Regehr played for Kings coach Darryl Sutter while with Calgary during the 2003-04 season when the Flames came within one victory of winning the Stanley Cup. … Williams has had two four-game goal streaks during his 12-year career. … All 11 of Kopitar’s points on the power play have been assists. Six of Carter’s seven points on the power play have been goals. … Minnesota has allowed the first goal in five straight games, after scoring first in 10 of its previous 11. … Minnesota lost on consecutive nights for the first time this season.