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Wild's Backstrom to make season debut against Kings @NHLdotcom

WILD (2-1-0) at KINGS (3-1-1)


The Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings did not hold a morning skate in advance of their 3 p.m. ET game Sunday at Staples Center.

After beginning the season with consecutive shutouts of the Colorado Avalanche, the Wild lost 2-1 on Friday to the Anaheim Ducks. Goalie Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves and saw his franchise-record shutout streak end at 163:46. Kuemper, though, will sit Sunday in favor of veteran Niklas Backstrom, who makes his first start since Jan. 11 and first appearance since Jan. 30 after having abdominal and hip surgeries last season.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said to expect changes on the power play following the loss to Anaheim on Friday. Minnesota is 0-for-11 with the man advantage and one of four teams without a power-play goal. Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Ryan Suter made up the first unit at practice Saturday. Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin were on the second unit.

Yeo also made changes to his third defensive pair. Nate Prosser and rookie Christian Folin will play with Keith Ballard and Matt Dumba healthy scratches.

The Kings continue their six-game homestand without defenseman Jake Muzzin and forwards Marian Gaborik and Trevor Lewis. Coach Darryl Sutter told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that Muzzin (upper body) is scheduled for an X-ray Thursday. L.A. is off a 1-0 shootout win Thursday against the St. Louis Blues and do not play again until Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Here are the projected lineups:


Thomas Vanek - Mikko Koivu - Justin Fontaine

Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Charlie Coyle

Matt Cooke - Ryan Carter - Jason Zucker

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Jared Spurgeon - Marco Scandella

Christian Folin - Nate Prosser

Niklas Backstrom

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Kyle Brodziak, Matt Dumba, Keith Ballard

Injured: None


Mike Richards - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Jordan Nolan

Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov

Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Injured: Marian Gaborik (lower body), Jake Muzzin (upper body), Trevor Lewis (upper body)

Scratched: None

Status report: Like the Kings, the Wild have a light early-season schedule. Minnesota won't compete again until Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center and plays four games in the season's first 15 days … The Wild are 6-2-1 in their past nine games against the Kings with four decided in a shootout … Minnesota is one of four teams perfect on the penalty kill (11-for-11). The others are the Detroit Red Wings (17-for-17), Winnipeg Jets (18-for-18) and Columbus Blue Jackets (11-for-11) … Quick's 43-save shutout in a 1-0 shootout win Thursday against the St. Louis Blues tied him with Rogie Vachon for the franchise lead (32). He's 8-4-3 with a 2.48 goals-against average against the Wild but 1-1-2 since 2013.

Who's hot: Zucker has a goal in each of his past two games … Minnesota's line of Parise, Granlund and Pominville has combined for eight points (three goals, five assists), 36 shots and a plus-11 rating … Pearson has four goals in his past four games and leads the Kings with six points. The line of Pearson, Carter and Toffoli has nine of the Kings' 12 goals and a total of 16 points. Carter has a goal in four of his past six games against the Wild.

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