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Back-to-back for Kings, who visit a desperate Wild club

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


IN MN: Tonight marks the third and final meeting with the Wild this season and the Kings’ only visit to Minnesota’s XCEL Energy Center. The Wild are playing the first of a two-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-2 SO win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. The Kings are playing the second of a three-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Monday night.

BACK-TO-BACK: The 12th of the Kings’ 13 back-to-back sets on their 2015-’16 regular season schedule will be completed tonight, and the team will look to continue strong in a situation they’ve been quite successful in all year long. Coming into the night, the Kings are 9-1-1 in the second game of a two-in-two set. "You just can't use it as an excuse," Sutter said of playing on consecutive nights. "You keep your top end as fresh as you can. They're the guys who ultimately drive the bus.”

LINEUP: Because the team is playing on consecutive nights and did not arrive in Minnesota until after midnight Tuesday, they did not hold a morning skate. Listed below are the lines the Kings used Monday night in Nashville. Jonathan Quick, who was pulled after two periods Monday, is expected to start in net.

FORWARDS

LUCIC – KOPITAR – TOFFOLI
CLIFFORD – CARTER – BROWN
PEARSON – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
KING – SHORE – ANDREOFF
(VERSTEEG)

DEFENSEMEN

SCUDERI – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
MCNABB – SCHENN
(MCBAIN)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings have gone 1-1-0 in their two previous meetings with the Wild this season, winning 2-1 in OT on October 16 and losing 3-0 on January 21, both games played at STAPLES Center. Jonathan Quick has started both games against Minnesota, stopping 50 of 54 shots faced. Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar are the only Kings to have scored against the Wild this season.

SEEING DUBNYK: The Kings will see Devan Dubnyk in Minnesota’s net tonight; Darcy Kuemper has started the two previous games against the Kings for Minnesota, stopping 67 of 69 shots faced, including a 32-save shutout performance on January 21. Dubnyk is 7-1-1 in his past nine decisions and is coming off of a 29-save win over the Blackhawks on Sunday. In 10 career starts against the Kings, Dubnyk is 5-4-1; he stopped 31 of 32 shots faced in his only game against the Kings in a Wild uniform, a 4-1 Minnesota win on March 28, 2015.

ON THE BUBBLE: The Wild come into the night just one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the Western Conference’s final wild-card spot and are going to be hungry for a win. "We're all aware of it, looking at the standings each night, we know it's us against Colorado," said Minnesota’s Matt Dumba. "There's a bunch of big games in front of us, but we have to take them one game at a time."

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s matchup will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network, with coverage beginning shortly prior to the game’s 5:30 scheduled start. You can listen to the Kings’ very own Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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