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Hackett's whirlwind ride continues in L.A.

LOS ANGELES -- Goaltending controversy in Minnesota?

Rookie head coach Mike Yeo just grinned.

A kid named Matt Hackett, nephew of former NHL netminder Jeff Hackett, had just stopped 42 of 44 Los Angeles Kings shots to pace the NHL-leading Wild to a 4-2 victory.

"Well, no," Yeo insisted. "We just got really good goaltending. We've got three of them. But no, there's no controversy here."

Those are the kinds of jokes you don't mind hearing when you're as hot as the Wild are.

The victory over the Kings was the Wild's sixth straight road win, establishing a new franchise record. The last two victories were courtesy of the 21-year-old Hackett, who came on in relief of an injured Josh Harding two nights ago in San Jose and stopped all 34 shots he faced to earn a win in his first-ever NHL action.

"I can't even explain it," Hackett said of his whirlwind ride the past three days. "It's been crazy.

"Best 72 hours of my life so far. Like I said, we've got to keep it going and I'm just living the dream right now."

Hackett was the 77th overall pick of the Wild in the 2009 entry draft, and he backstopped the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston to the Calder Cup final last spring. Yeo was coaching that team, so he knew what he was getting when the Wild called up Hackett after Niklas Backstrom was injured.

Yeo said the coaching staff knew on Wednesday that Hackett would get the start against Los Angeles but kept that quiet.

"I didn't even say it to him," Yeo said. "[Assistant coach] Bob Mason said it to him, told him he was going to start tonight. We waited until today. We knew yesterday that he was going to start but we waited 'til today. But when Mase told him, he had a smile on his face so we knew that he was OK."

Hackett, who was staked to a 3-0 lead Thursday, saw his shutout streak end 3:59 into the third period when Dustin Penner beat him.

Not bad for a guy who didn't get his usual pregame nap in.

"Going in cold, you just jump in there and do the best you can as quick as you can," Hackett said. "Today I had time to think about the game. Usually I have a pregame nap, but I was so excited to play that I didn't really get to sleep. I was just focusing on what I was supposed to do and felt I played pretty well tonight."