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Red-hot Kings head to Minnesota

by Brian Compton
KINGS (5-2-0) at WILD (3-3-1)

TV:  Versus, TSN2.

Season Series: This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. They split the 2009-10 season series as each team won twice. The Kings have won three of their last four in Minnesota.

Big Story: Los Angeles is on a roll with four wins in its last five games, but will likely play Monday night without two key players. Drew Doughty is expected to miss his third straight contest with an upper-body injury, while Wayne Simmonds could be punished by the League for his actions involving Colorado forward T.J. Galiardi on Saturday.

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles blew leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 Saturday night, but Brad Richardson tallied a hat trick and helped the Kings escape with a 6-4 win against the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. His second goal came shorthanded and broke a 4-4 tie.

"It does feel good to get it against your old team, for sure," said Richardson, who spent his first three seasons with Colorado and was traded to Los Angeles in June 2008 for a second-round draft pick. "There are no hard feelings. It was great to play here. I loved being here, but it's a little sweeter."

Wild: Monday marks the third game in five days for Minnesota, which earned a 4-2 win at Edmonton on Thursday before dropping a 3-1 decision at Vancouver on Friday. The power play struggled mightily against the Canucks, who killed all four of the Wild's man advantages, including a 5-on-3 in the second period. Jose Theodore made 30 saves in his debut with the club.

"Theodore played well, he gave us a chance to get a point or earn a win here and that's all you can ask of your goalie," coach Todd Richards said. "And then your goalie plays great for you all game and you make some poor decisions coming down the stretch and leave him hanging out to dry."

Who's Hot: Is it possible for everyone on the Kings to be hot? Twelve of their 18 skaters notched a point against the Avalanche. Dustin Brown scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the win. … Matt Cullen, who signed with the Wild as a free agent last summer, leads the team with 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists).

Injury Report: Doughty will not play for the Kings on Monday. Scott Parse (groin) is day-to-day. … Minnesota winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard is out as he continues to suffer from post-concussion syndrome. Cam Barker suffered a groin injury on Thursday against the Oilers and was not in the lineup Friday. Josh Harding is likely done for the season with a torn ACL and MCL, and James Sheppard (knee) is out 3-4 months.

Stat Pack: Prior to Saturday's offensive outburst, Brad Richardson had just 30 goals in 254 NHL games. He's never scored more than 14 goals in a season at the NHL level.

Puck Drop: "The power play can win you a game but the penalty kill can lose you a game. It ended up tonight that the penalty killing was outstanding at a critical time. We kept the flow going. Lots of guys were intense and on the puck and doing the right things. It was a great team effort in the last 10 minutes of the third period.'' -- Kings coach Terry Murray after Saturday's win at Colorado

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