|A season removed from hoisting the Stanley Cup, the Kings have the major players from that Cup run in the organization. Last season’s top scorer, Anze Kopitar (10-32=42) leads Los Angeles offensively. Drew Doughty anchors the blue line, while Slava Voynov had a breakout season leading Kings’ defensemen with 25 points (6-19=25).
The wall that led the Kings to its first Cup win in franchise history and looks to keep it a Western Conference favorite is goaltender Jonathan Quick. Despite posting a career-low save percentage last year (.904), the Milford, Conn., native remains one of the top money goaltenders in the league, posting a .934 SV% during the playoffs.
|All fans in attendance will receive a 2013-14 Wild calendar.
Due to weather uncertainty, the outdoor pre-game party has been cancelled. Some elements will move inside, including:
• Fan Souvenir Opening Night Photo booth – inside of Skyway entrance to Gate One
• NHL Alumni Autographs at the Bud Light Fan Zone from 5:45pm – 6:30pm
• Face Painting in the main concourse
The Wild will wear its GREEN sweaters tonight.
|Charlie Coyle led the Wild with three goals and a plus-4 rating and ranked tied for first with four points appearing in five preseason games. He finished last season on a season-best four-game point streak and a two-game assist streak.
Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.
|The Wild’s lineup features a mixture of veteran experience with youthful exuberance:
Parise – Koivu – Pominville
Nieterreider – Coyle – Heatley
Granlund – Brodziak – Cooke
Mitchell – Konopka – Fontaine
You can lock in the top two, but we’ll know the rest of the D-pairs after the team’s morning skate:
Suter – Brodin
Spurgeon – Scandella
Ballard – Stoner
Niklas Backstrom will get the opening night nod in net. The goaltender is 8-6-3 with a 2.45 GAA, a .913 SV% and two shutouts in 19 games (18 starts) vs. Los Angeles.
|We want to get better offensively. That's been well documented, we've talked about it an awful lot. But our bread and butter still has to be that we have to be a great defensive team. The challenge for us is we have to keep building onto that offensive part without taking away from that defensive part.
- Yeo on balancing offense and defense
|The Wild has to sit two defensemen and it looks like Nate Prosser and Mathew Dumba will be out of the lineup tonight.
Mike Rupp is out with a lower-body injury.
|Defenseman Willie Mitchell skated in 288 games with Minnesota in parts of five seasons (2000-06).||The Wild is undefeated in home openers at Xcel Energy Center with an 11-0-1 record.
|Wild vs. Columbus will be broadcast nationally in high definition on NBC Sports Network with a start time of 7 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
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