At one point during Monday's practice, Todd Richards told his sunburned players to get their "minds and bodies" back into hockey mode.

The Wild coach saw the rust that built during the All-Star break and tried to scrape it off.

Tuesday night, even phosphoric acid wouldn't have eaten away the corrosion. Yet, thanks to some tremendous defensive play and one incredible Niklas Backstrom skate save, the Wild survived for a 1-0 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Wild moved back into eighth in the West ... for only two hours though, thanks to Phoenix blowing a 3-0 lead and losing to San Jose.

"Even watching some of the other games around the league, I think [the rust's] a pretty common theme," Richards said. "But the guys battled and competed, and it's all about wins."

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, after losing the puck initially at the blue line, scored the lone shootout goal and Backstrom capped his 27-save, 22nd career shutout by blanking three Kings shooters for Minnesota's first victory in eight shootouts since Dec. 4, 2009.

"It was not the perfect start," said Bouchard, smiling, of losing the puck. "But I got it back."

Backstrom was especially due in the shootout. He had lost seven in a row and 10 of his past 11, and for goalies who've faced more than 67 attempts, Backstrom had the worst save percentage in the shootout era (.577, 71- for-123).

After poke-checking the puck from Anze Kopitar, Backstrom made a desperation save on Jack Johnson by sticking up his right leg and stopping the defenseman with his toe.

"From the bench, all I saw was open net," Richards said.

"I've got to tip my hat to him," Johnson said.

Backstrom, who also stopped captain Dustin Brown in the shootout to improve to 7-3 in his past 10 starts, said, "[Johnson] had me beat, so I just tried to get something up there and got lucky. You need those every now and then."

The victory painted a pretty picture on Andrew Brunette's 1,000th game. Wild players wore celebratory T-shirts under their sweaters, Brunette's father, Dan, canceled his curling match to watch on television, and former teammate and good friend Willie Mitchell shot pucks at Brunette during a pregame TV interview.