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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Kings

Friday, 09.20.2013 / 10:55 AM

Ben Wolfson - Special to Wild.com

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Kings
Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (20-11-2: 42 points, 4th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. Los Angeles Kings  (19-12-2: 40 points, 5th in Western Conference, 2nd in Pacific Division)

The Minnesota Wild saw its seven-game win streak snapped last night at the hands of the Dallas Stars last night. The good news is the Wild has a chance to get back on the horse as they welcome the Los Angeles Kings to the comfy confines of Xcel Energy Center. This will be the first time the Wild has played the reigning Stanley Cup Champions this season.

With Minnesota having Backstrom stay home from its trip to Dallas on Friday, expect him to start against the Kings. Backstrom, with 18 wins on the season already, is tied for the NHL lead. The next win will match his total from last season and since Feb. 9 he has gone 15-3-1 in 19 games. Minnesota went 2-2-0 against the Kings last season. Niklas Backstrom was 1-1-0 with a 3.13 goals against average and a .864 save percentage in three appearances (two starts).

Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon has been playing well recently. On Friday, Spurgeon scored his fourth power-play goal of the season to extend his point streak to a career-best five games (2-4=6). He has 11 points (4-7=11) in his last 13 games and 13 points (5-8=11) in 24 games this year after missing nine games with a lower body injury.

The Wild is 10-4-0 in March, marking the fourt time in franchise history the team has totaled at least 10 wins in a single month. The Wild last topped double-digit victories in Nov. 2011, when it earned a franchise-best 11 wins (11-4-0).

With no morning skate today, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo will speak to the media outside the locker room at 5 p.m. Any changes in the starting lineup will be made known then.

The Wild was upended by the Stars in Dallas yesterday, 5-3. Devin Setoguchi, Jared Spurgeon and Torrey Mitchell scored for Minnesota, while goaltender Matt Hackett made 28 saves in his first start with the Wild this season.

Los Angeles comes into Saint Paul in the middle of a five-game road trip and have won the first two games. Monday, the Kings beat Chicago in a thriller, 5-4, and Thursday were able to out-last the Blues, 4-2.

UPDATED: Defenseman Brett Clark will make his Wild debut tonight. He replaces Justin Falk on the blue line. Torrey Mitchell is out of tonight's game with an undisclosed illness.
Meet The Jewels If You're Going
On Tuesday, the Kings flew to Washington D.C. to meet President Obama to be honored for winning the Stanley Cup in 2012.

Kings' center Anze Kopitar leads Los Angeles. The two-way center has 31 points (10-21=31) this season.
The University of Minnesota Women's National Champion Hockey team will be introduced at the start of the second intermission from ice level.

The Wild will wear its GREEN sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Mikko Koivu leads the Wild with 31 points (9-22=31) this season, including nine (3-6=9) in a season-best, six-game point streak. The Wild Captain leads Minnesota with 10 multi-point games this year and is plus-10 over his last nine games.

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.
 
Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo (coming soon)
PONDcast
Wild vs. LA - March 30 (coming soon) |
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
All 12 of the forwards on the Wild’s roster will be in the lineup tonight:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Bouchard – Cullen – Setoguchi
Heatley – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Mitchell – Konopka – Rupp

Clark will be in for Falk:

Suter – Brodin
Spurgeon – Stoner
  Clark– Gilbert

Niklas Backstrom will get the start tonight for the Wild. On the year, Backstrom leads the NHL in wins (18) in 27 games with a .917 SV% and a 2.32 GAA.
View From The Press Box
If we're executing the right way, we want to be a North-South team. If you're doing that the right way you should appear fast

- Yeo on the Wild’s speed on Thurday
Justin Falk and Nate Prosser are expected to be tonight's healthy scratches.

Goaltender Josh Harding (treatment for multiple sclerosis) is on Injured Reserve.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Willie Mitchell skated in 288 games with Minnesota in parts of five seasons (2000-06). Minnesota has scored four or more goals 10 times this season, including in five of its last eight games. Through 2/26 the Wild ranked 30th in the NHL in scoring at 2.06. Since 2/27, the Wild is No. 1 in the NHL (3.53). Overall, the Wild ranks 14ths at 2.72 GPG.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Kings will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:00 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.
 
Wild.com
Wild Recalls Hackett  | State of Hobey | Prospects Report | Five Takeaways at DAL | Harding Back On Ice |
WildTV
Becoming Wild: Streak | Becoming Wild: Wild About Children |
PONDcast
Wild at DAL - March 29 | Hockey Unplugged with Charlie Coyle | Mike Modano - March 29 |
Photo Gallery
Wild at DAL- March 29 |

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 23 '13 LAK 1 at MIN 2 C. Clutterbuck
Apr 04 '13 MIN 0 at LAK 3 J. Williams
Mar 30 '13 LAK 3 at MIN 4 - SO M. Koivu
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Kopitar33102232+121201
J. Carter3419423+11066
J. Williams3461723+141610
D. Brown3414822+52071
M. Richards3481321-73852
S. Voynov3441721+111202
J. Stoll347815+62213
J. Muzzin316814+123321
D. Doughty3411314-12400
T. Lewis345712+81902
R. Scuderi3411011+0400
K. Clifford344610-24100
D. King334610+01100
D. Penner242810+11400
C. Fraser30257-32500
J. Nolan31235-34000
T. Toffoli6235+4210
A. Martinez25145+1800
S. Gagne11055+2200
D. Drewiske20134+31410
K. Ellerby34033+35000
M. Greene1011-1400
B. Richardson2000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Quick2712-10-3646112.52.895
J. Bernier107-2-0172211.94.923
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu3492433+82003
Z. Parise34151530+111463
R. Suter3432528+31820
M. Cullen3471825+81000
D. Setoguchi34121123+101842
D. Heatley3491019-12631
P. Bouchard2941115+6802
J. Spurgeon255813+7242
K. Brodziak346410-12611
T. Gilbert31369-111610
C. Clutterbuck28358-62500
C. Stoner34088+52200
C. Coyle23437+71102
J. Brodin31257+71010
T. Mitchell31426-51901
M. Granlund19156-3400
J. Zucker14415+5600
M. Rupp30134-16500
J. Falk29022-73600
M. Scandella6101-1400
Z. Konopka28000-39600
N. Prosser14000+4400
D. Powe8000+1900
B. Clark1000+0000
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom2819-7-2647662.34.916
D. Kuemper41-2-081052.22.924
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
M. Hackett10-1-05335.08.848
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