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Wild at Kings preview

Minnesota seeking seventh straight road win; Los Angeles coming off first shutout of season

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

WILD (34-26-7) at KINGS (26-35-6)

4 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-N, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild will look to gain in the Western Conference wild-card race when they play the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Wild are one point behind the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Minnesota has won a season-high six straight road games and seven of nine overall.

The Kings have won a season-high four straight games and have allowed three goals in that span. They are coming off a 1-0 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday for their first shutout of the season.

Los Angeles is last in the Western Conference.

 

Players to watch

Wild forward Zach Parise has scored in four straight games. He has eight points (four goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak.

Kings forward Adrian Kempe has seven points (one goal, six assists) in the past 10 games.

 

They said it

"I don't know where his ceiling is, but it sure looks high right now. … He's committed to doing the right things and he's getting rewarded for it." -- Wild coach Dean Evason on forward Kevin Fiala

"I think we found our identity, be a tighter checking team. We're not going to win scoring eight goals a night like some teams do in this league. If we check tight, play hard and compete hard we have a good chance to win most nights." -- Kings forward Blake Lizotte

 

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Luke Kunin -- Kevin Fiala

Gerald Mayhew -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Jordan Greenway

Marcus Foligno -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Mats Zuccarello

Ryan Donato -- Mikko Koivu -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Brad Hunt -- Greg Pateryn

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Eric Staal, Matt Bartkowski, Victor Rask

Injured: Carson Soucy (upper body)

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Adrian Kempe -- Blake Lizotte -- Trevor Lewis

Trevor Moore -- Gabriel Vilardi -- Martin Frk

Nikolai Prokhorkin -- Michael Amadio -- Austin Wagner

Ben Hutton -- Drew Doughty

Kurtis MacDermid -- Sean Walker

Mikey Anderson -- Matt Roy

Calvin Petersen

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Joakim Ryan

Injured: Jeff Carter (lower body)

 

Status report

Petersen will start in goal, coach Todd McLellan said. Petersen has won his past two starts and has saved 77 of 79 shots (.975 save percentage) in them. … Carter, a forward, will miss his eighth straight game.

 

Stat pack

The Wild have scored 36 goals in their past nine games, most in the NHL since Feb. 19. … Fiala has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) during an NHL career-high six-game point streak. He has at least one assist in six straight games (seven total), an NHL career high. … The Kings are 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) on the power play in their past seven games. … Doughty needs one point for 500 in the NHL.

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