KINGS (37-23-14) at WILD (43-25-7)
5:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
WILD FINISH: Tonight marks the third and final meeting with Minnesota this season; the Kings have won the first two meetings against the Wild, 2-1 on October 19 at STAPLES Center, and 4-0 on November 26 at the XCEL Energy Center. Minnesota is playing the second of their five-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday night. The Kings are playing the fourth of their five-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
LINEUP NOTES: Per Jon Rosen, who attended the Kings’ morning skate at the XCEL Energy Center, there look to be no changes to the lineup from Thursday night. Jonathan Quick left the ice first, so he is projected to start. Andy Andreoff, Brayden McNabb, and Jamie McBain remained on the ice for extra work, so they are expected to be healthy scratches.
GABORIK – KOPITAR – WILLIAMS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – SHORE – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – RICHARDS – NOLAN
(ANDREOFF – PEARSON)
MUZZIN – DOUGHTY
REGEHR – SEKERA
MARTINEZ – GREENE
(MCNABB – MCBAIN)
W AGAINST DUBNYK: Ever since the Minnesota Wild acquired Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes on January 14, they’ve completely turned their season around. Dubnyk is expected to make his 34th consecutive start for the Wild tonight, he has posted a 26-5-1 record since taking over as Minnesota’s #1 starter. Dubnyk, in his 33 games with the Wild, has posted a .938 SV% and a 1.72 GAA, can the Kings beat him tonight?
ANZE HEATING UP: Anze Kopitar comes into the night riding a five-game point streak. During that span, Kopitar has registered eight points (2G, 6A) – including a pair of multi-point games. Kopitar buried the game-winning goal for the Kings on Thursday night, but has zero points in the Kings’ two meetings against Minnesota this season. Can Kopitar extend his point streak, and the Kings’ win streak with more offensive production tonight?
PLAYOFF PICTURE: With 88 points in the standings coming into the night, the Kings own the Pacific Division’s third and final playoff spot. The Kings are just two points behind the Vancouver Canucks for second in the Pacific, and two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second and final wild-card spot. The Calgary Flames are hot on the Kings’ tail, just one point behind with 87.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous visit to Minnesota’s XCEL Energy Center on November 26, they beat the Wild 4-0. The Kings scored four goals in the first period, chasing Minnesota goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the game after 20 minutes. Mike Richards scored the game-winning goal; Martin Jones was perfect in a 28-save shutout performance.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the KINGS LIVE pregame show at 4:30PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from the XCEL Energy Center for puck drop just after 5:00.