GAME: Los Angeles Kings (21-15-13-5) at Minnesota Wild (19-20-15-2).
TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.
The Minnesota Wild are getting their act together at the right time.
The Wild will look to continue their push toward the postseason when they
open the second half against the Los Angeles Kings.
Minnesota, which sits five points out of a playoff berth with 26 games
remaining, went into the All-Star break with points in five straight games
(2-0-1-2), including a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
Marian Gaborik shook off his season-long slump to score the game-winner with
6:26 to play for third-year Minnesota, which advanced to the Western Conference
finals last season in its first appearance in the playoffs.
The Wild will certainly need Gaborik down the stretch. The 21-year-old right
wing has just six goals and 16 points in 39 games following a prolonged
Minnesota will also need the continued excellence of goaltender Dwayne
Roloson. Making his first All-Star game appearance, Roloson stopped six of
seven shots in the third period of the East's 6-4 win over the West on Sunday
at the Xcel Energy Center.
Roloson, who has a stellar 1.98 goals-against average and .932 save
percentage, had the best stop of the night, deflecting Gary Roberts' shot in
the high corner with his stick in the third period. The save brought chants of
"Ro-LY! Ro-LY!" from the crowd.
The Kings are one of four teams the Wild are chasing in the conference
standings. Los Angeles sits tied with Calgary, Nashville and St. Louis, three
points behind fifth-place Dallas.
Los Angeles is unbeaten in six (3-0-3) and has just one regulation loss in
its last 13 (5-1-6-1).
The Kings went into the break on a high note as well, rallying from a pair
of two-goal deficits for a 4-4 tie with Calgary on Tuesday.
"We keep getting at least a point," said Eric Belanger, who scored once.
"It's a credit to all the guys in this room and to the coaching staff to get
us ready every night. We believe in ourselves and are having a lot of fun
playing together right now."
On Monday, coach Andy Murray received a multiyear contract extension.
Murray, 52, has guided the Kings to three playoff appearances and three 90-plus
point seasons since being named head coach on June 14, 1999. His record is
Terms of Murray's deal were not disclosed.