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Preview: Kings at Wild

Center Martin Hanzal expected to debut for Minnesota; Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick will start second straight game

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

KINGS (30-27-4) at WILD (39-14-6)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

Kings team scope

Goalie Jonathan Quick will start his second straight game for the Los Angeles Kings since returning from a groin injury. Ben Bishop, acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, will back up and can expect his share of playing time down the stretch. "Jonathan Quick can't play every game," coach Darryl Sutter said. "He has a long-term contract, which means you want him to fulfill that contract and be a healthy player…With these injuries he's had in the last three or four years, we're not going to nail him to the cross in the next six weeks." Bishop is looking forward to contributing to the Kings, who are three points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "The past this team has, the experience they have, they've [won the Stanley Cup] before, so to get traded to a team with that kind of experience that knows how to win in those type of big games, it's exciting," Bishop said. Forward Marian Gaborik, who is pointless in nine games, will play after he was a healthy scratch against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. "I gotta get back, play better and make sure I don't come out of the lineup again," Gaborik said. "I just have to play better overall, that's just the bottom line. This is crunch time and obviously we need to put up points. We need to find a way no matter what." 

 

Wild team scope

Center Martin Hanzal is expected to debut for the Minnesota Wild. Hanzal, right wing Ryan White and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft were acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. "He's a tough guy to play against," center Eric Staal said. "You line up against a guy that's 6-foot-5 and big and strong and that can get difficult as the night goes on and through the course of a playoff series. It's nice to be able to add that to what we've already got going here down the middle." The Wild return from the League's mandatory five-day break one point ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference with three games in hand. Their 84 points is tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for second in the League behind the Washington Capitals (89). "We all have one common goal and that's to win," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We've said this all year long that we don't have four superstars on this team. We're all in this together so I think the fact that we made ourselves better [with the trade] and the fact that it'll help us be a better team will get everybody on the same page." Goalie Devan Dubnyk, whose 32 wins are tied with Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will start. Dubnyk, 25-5-2 in his past 32 games, leads the League in save percentage (.933) and is second in goals-against average (2.01).

 

Kings projected lineup

Adrian Kempe -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown 

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Marian Gaborik -- Nic Dowd -- Kyle Clifford 

Dwight King -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis 

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Kevin Gravel

Brayden McNabb -- Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Paul LaDue 

Injured: Matt Greene (undisclosed), Jordan Nolan (undisclosed)

 

Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville

Chris Stewart -- Martin Hanzal -- Ryan White

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba 

Nate Prosser -- Jonas Brodin 

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Christian Folin, Jordan Schroeder, Tyler Graovac

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm)

 

Status report

Nolan, activated from injured reserve on Feb. 25, did not practice. … LaDue is a healthy scratch and is expected to return on this road trip after missing three games with an upper-body injury… Graovac was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League and center Zac Dalpe was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jackets.

 

Who's hot

Pearson has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past seven games. … Carter has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past seven games. …Granlund has five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak and has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in his past 20 games. … Pominville has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his past nine games. … Koivu has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past five games. … Niederreiter has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games.

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