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Minnesota
Wild
40-33-9
Los Angeles
Kings
34-37-11

game preview

Wild-Kings Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Wild-Kings Preview
Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings

The Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings were both able to mount comebacks in their latest games to end long losing streaks. They're hoping to be just as successful closing deficits in the standings.

The Wild look to avoid being swept in their season series with the Kings when the playoff hopefuls meet at Staples Center on Saturday.

Minnesota (31-27-5) had lost four straight, including the first three of a season-high six-game road trip, before beating San Jose 4-3 in overtime Thursday night. It was the first time the Wild rallied from a three-goal deficit to win since beating Nashville 7-6 in a shootout Nov. 16, 2006.

Los Angeles (27-28-9) also overcame a three-goal disadvantage Thursday to beat Dallas 5-4 in OT, ending a four-game skid. The last time the Kings won after trailing by three goals was Nov. 10, 2007, when they came back from a 4-0 deficit against the Stars in the third period of a 6-5 overtime victory.

Both teams still have a chance to move into playoff position. Minnesota is vying for its third straight postseason appearance, while Los Angeles is trying for its first playoff berth since 2002.

"We know it's an important stretch of the season so the next one in L.A. is huge," defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron told the Wild's official Web site.

Before Mikko Koivu scored his second goal of the game with 13.3 seconds left in OT, Minnesota got a fluke goal to tie the Sharks 3-3 with 7:37 left in regulation. Marek Zidlicky's shot from center ice somehow bounced sideways between the legs of San Jose goalie Brian Boucher.

"What I get from this is the guys never stop," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said.

Minnesota hasn't been nearly as lucky in its attempt to find the back of the net versus Los Angeles this season, scoring a total of four goals en route to going 0-2-1. The Wild lost the last matchup 2-1 in a shootout Feb. 24.

Minnesota won its previous three against the Kings but got just two goals in each of those contests.

The Wild struggled in the offensive end before facing the Sharks, scoring two goals or fewer in each of their previous five games.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, is heating up after a tough stretch. The Kings have scored nine goals in their last two games after posting four in regulation over their previous four.

"It's all about putting the puck in the net," center Michal Handzus said. "That's what we have to do for 60 minutes to win more games, and that's been our problem."

Trailing 4-2, the Kings scored twice in the final 3:18 of regulation against Dallas. Anze Kopitar tied it with 14 seconds left and also had two assists.

Kopitar has three goals and three assists in his last three games. The third-year center leads Los Angeles with 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists).

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 07 '09 MIN 3 at LAK 4 T. Purcell
Feb 24 '09 LAK 2 at MIN 1 - SO D. Doughty
Jan 20 '09 LAK 5 at MIN 2 D. Brown
Dec 13 '08 MIN 1 at LAK 3 M. Handzus
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu64174158+25443
P. Bouchard61152641-31821
A. Miettinen64142741-22633
A. Brunette62142135-81671
O. Nolan41181331+11793
M. Zidlicky59112031-1258103
E. Belanger61121830-51633
B. Burns5981927-74542
M. Bergeron5491625+02642
K. Johnsson6311718-13000
S. Veilleux638715-183201
J. Sheppard6441115-212801
C. Clutterbuck608311-75711
B. Pouliot375611+11821
D. Fritsche33459-3610
M. Skoula63189-10400
N. Schultz64167-62500
K. Kolanos19336+31610
C. Gillies36246-11401
M. Gaborik6325+0010
P. Olvecky17123+0601
D. Boogaard47033+48500
E. Reitz31112-24100
C. Weller30112-34510
T. Mojzis4011-1200
J. Scott5000-2200
K. Foster1000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom5429-19-412015412.32.922
J. Harding162-9-1284012.20.930
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Kopitar65233457-172073
A. Frolov65272451-222111
D. Brown63232750-105475
J. Stoll65162238+05880
P. O'Sullivan62142337+11621
K. Quincey6243337+35322
M. Handzus65141933-52254
K. Calder6081523-23321
D. Doughty6441721-104221
O. Moller347714-31450
W. Simmonds655914-74811
M. Greene6511112-110500
P. Harrold563811-112410
T. Purcell243811-3211
S. O'Donnell6501010+16100
J. Johnson24437-152930
T. Preissing22347-7620
D. Armstrong41426-125111
B. Richardson26044-51100
D. Gauthier53123-126800
T. Lewis6123+0000
R. Ivanans60202-711502
B. Boyle20112-111800
M. Moulson7101-4201
J. Zeiler23000-33700
D. Drewiske5000+1200
K. Westgarth3000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Quick3015-11-1727902.62.909
E. Ersberg258-9-4565442.60.897
J. LaBarbera195-8-4474392.83.893