WILD (44-26-10) at KINGS (44-28-8)
10:30 p.m. ET; FS-N+, FS-W, NHL.TV
The Los Angeles Kings will move back into third place in the Pacific Division with a win against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on Thursday.
The Kings clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth when the St. Louis Blues lost Wednesday and are one point behind the Anaheim Ducks with two games remaining. The Kings hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.
The Wild will finish third in the Central Division. Minnesota is one of three teams to make the playoffs in six consecutive seasons (Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins).
Players to watch
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has four points (one goal, three assists) during a three-game point streak. His 59 points (10 goals, 49 assists) are tied with his NHL career high set in 2009-10.
Wild forward Zach Parise has 17 points (12 goals, five assists) in his past 20 games. Parise's seven-game point streak ended against Anaheim on Wednesday.
They said it
"The defensive effort has been really good, but you're not going to replace Ryan Suter no matter what you do. Like I've said, he's in the top five defensemen in the world." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Suter, who is out for the season with a fractured right ankle
"You want to play in the playoffs, that's the most important thing, but you want your team game at a point where you can have success in the playoffs. There's still a lot at stake where we're going to finish, and there's still a lot at stake in terms of how we're playing heading into the playoffs." -- Kings coach John Stevens
Wild projected lineup
Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund
Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Nino Niederreiter
Jordan Greenway -- Matt Cullen -- Charlie Coyle
Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Daniel Winnik
Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba
Nick Seeler -- Ryan Murphy
Carson Soucy -- Nate Prosser
Scratched: Tyler Ennis, Louis Belpedio
Injured: Gustav Olofsson (upper body), Jared Spurgeon (hamstring), Ryan Suter (fractured right ankle), Luke Kunin (torn ACL)
Kings projected lineup
Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown
Tobias Rieder -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli
Kyle Clifford -- Adrian Kempe -- Trevor Lewis
Nate Thompson -- Michael Amadio -- Torrey Mitchell
Kevin Gravel -- Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez -- Christian Folin
Dion Phaneuf -- Paul LaDue
Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Sheldon Rempal, Daniel Brickley
Injured: Alex Iafallo (upper body), Jake Muzzin (upper body), Derek Forbort (lower body)
Stevens said Forbort is more week to week than day to day. … Olofsson will miss his fourth straight game, but Boudreau said he could return Saturday.
Brodin has a three-game assist streak. … Kopitar has five points (two goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak.