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In road-trip finale, Kings itching for a win against the Wild

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

KINGS (11-6-5) at WILD (12-8-0)


WILD PART DEUX: This is the second of three meetings with the Minnesota Wild this season. The Kings were 2-1 winners on October 19 at STAPLES Center, somehow finding a way to victory regardless of being outshot 41-16. Jonathan Quick made 40 saves in the Kings’ win; Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson scored the goals. The Wild are returning home to XCEL Energy Center tonight for the first time since November 16. Minnesota went 2-1-0 on its three-game road trip, most recently a 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers Monday night.

MARIAN IN MINNESOTA: Marian Gaborik, Minnesota’s first-ever draft pick, selected third overall by the Wild in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, will return to Minnesota for just the fourth time since he parted ways with the club during the 2009 offseason. Gaborik is Minnesota’s all-time leader in scoring, and is coming off of a two points (1G, 1G) performance Tuesday night in Nashville. Gaborik is a perfect 3-0-0 in games played in Minnesota since leaving the Wild, notching two points (1G, 1A) in those wins with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

QUICK RETURN: Jonathan Quick will return to the Kings’ net tonight after sitting out last night’s game against the Nashville Predators. Quick started all three games the Kings played against the Wild last season, going 1-1-1, stopping 60 of the 66 shots he faces. Quick comes into the night with a 10-4-4 record in 18 starts, a 2.22 GAA, and a .932 SV% - which is the best in the NHL. In 16 career starts against Minnesota, Quick is 9-4-3.

LOCATION, LOCATION: The Kings, who are struggling mightily on the road this season with a 1-4-4 mark away from STAPLES Center, head into another hot NHL building tonight. The Minnesota Wild are 7-1-0 on home ice at the XCEL Energy Center this season, their only loss coming on November 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Struggling to find success on the road, can the Kings hand the Wild their second home loss while picking up their second road win of the season?

THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings beat the Wild 2-1 on October 19 at STAPLES Center; Jonathan Quick made 40 saves in the win, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson scored the goals. The Kings’ last visit to XCEL Energy Center came on October 3 of last season, in what was the regular season opener of the 2013-’14 campaign. Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter scored for the Kings in regulation time, and the Kings won 3-2 in a shootout. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves, and stopped both of Minnesota’s shootout attempts.


WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 4:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from XCEL Energy Center for puck-drop at 5:00PM PT.

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