GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Kings
Minnesota Wild (36-33-6: 78 points, T-12th in Western Conference, 4th in Northwest Division)
vs. Los Angeles Kings (42-26-6: 90 points, 7th in Western Conference, 3rd in Pacific Division)
Another injury could potentially rock the Minnesota Wild lineup tonight, but that would provide an opportunity for yet another NHL debut tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. Marek Zidlicky
went to the hospital today to have his arm looked at, and his injury would mean Elk River native Nate Prosser
would make his debut on the Wild blue line. If he plays, Prosser would become the first Minnesota native to skate with the team since Mark Parrish during the 2007-2008 season.
Prosser will get a chance to make his case for next season, while the Wild’s time is running out on this season. After a 6-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, the Wild is clinging to life. Andrew Brunette
and Owen Nolan picked up goals for the Wild, while Josh Harding
took the loss after allowing four goals through two periods. Harding aggravated his hip injury during the game, resulting in the call up of Anton Khudobin
from the Houston Aeros.
The Kings are looking to snap a three game skid after falling to the Dallas Stars, 4-1 on Saturday night. Michal Handzus gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead, but the Stars rattled off the next four goals on Jonathan Quick, who made 22 saves.
A limited number of tickets remain for tonight’s game. Purchase your seats now by going here.
Wild vs. Kings will be broadcast locally in high definition on Fox Sports North at 8:00 PM. The game can be heard on 830 WCCO AM, or online at Wild.com.
If you would like to receive broadcast alerts (time and channel) by cell phone, simply text TV to 83281
If You’re Going
Get there late, or at least later than normal. Tonight’s game doesn’t kick off until 8:15 PM with doors opening at 6:45. That gives you plenty of time to saddle up at one of the fine establishments in downtown St. Paul for your pregame meal.
Meet The Royalty
The Kings’ youth movement is bearing fruit for the franchise that is looking for its first postseason appearance in seven years. Hockey fans got a great look at some of that youth during the Olympics when Jack Johnson and Dustin Brown starred for Team USA, while Drew Doughty was superb on the Canadian blue line.
LA’s biggest star didn’t suit up in the Olympics, but only because his team wasn’t there. Anze Kopitar of Slovenia has 33 goals and 43 assists, putting him one shy of his career-high for points in a season.
With his goal on Friday, Nolan posted a point for the second straight game, and he now sits in 99th place on the all-time NHL scoring charts at 884 (421-463=884), Nolan’s next point will tie him for 98th with Peter Forsberg.
It will only be a storyline if Zidlicky can’t play, but Prosser’s debut would steal the headlines if he plays.
Keep An Eye On
is likely to return tonight, providing some much-needed help, not just at the center position, but also on the power play and penalty kill.
Probable Wild Line Combos
If Koivu returns, Casey Wellman
likely goes back to playing on the wing in Chuck Kobasew
Probable Defensive Pairings
If Zidlicky can’t play, Prosser would be in:
Between The Pipes
will get the start with Khudobin serving as backup.
View From The Press Box
The roster is wearing thin with injuries, meaning there won’t be a healthy scratch tonight unless Zidlicky plays.
is “banged up” but he did skate today and will likely play. Koivu’s arm has improved and he will also likely play. Zidlicky is questionable with an arm injury. Cam Barker
remains out with an ankle injury. Clayton Stoner
(hernia), Shane Hnidy (leg) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
(concussion) are all out.
Richards’ Quote of the Day
“The scouts that saw him play liked what he can do, and what he can bring. He still has some growing he can do in his game. He’ll be ready to go if we need him.”
-- Todd Richards on Prosser potentially playing tonight
Honorary State of Hockey Residents
D Jack Johnson spent one season at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. D Sean O’Donnell was the first captain in Wild history (October, 2000).
The Wild is 1-5-1 in the last seven games against the Kings after going 7-0-2 in the previous nine meetings.