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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Kings

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Kings
Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (24-18-3: 51 points, 7th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. Los Angeles Kings (26-14-5 57 points, 4th in Western Conference, 2nd in Pacific Division)
It’s crunch time.

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Wild sits in seventh place in the Western Conference. Minnesota is on the precipice of skating in the postseason for the first time in five years and the club controls its own destiny. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Tonight, the team can improve its playoff chances at home against the defending Stanley Cup champions, Los Angeles Kings. This is the rubber match between the two clubs, as Minnesota earned a 4-3 shootout victory at Xcel Energy Center March 30 while Los Angeles took the second game, 3-0, at Staples Center April 4.

Yesterday, the Wild recalled some grit and energy at the forward position. Minnesota recalled Jake Dowell and Stephane Veilleux from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. The team also activated goaltender Josh Harding off Injured Reserve after a conditioning assignment in Houston, where the netminder went 1-1-0 stopping 56-of-61 shots faced for a 3.00 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in two starts. The club reassigned forwards Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker and goaltender Darcy Kuemper to Houston.

The Wild will make a couple of changes in its lineup tonight. Cal Clutterbuck will be on the wing alongside Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi. Clutterbuck's job on the line will be to retrieve pucks in the corners and create general havoc in the offensive end.

Zenon Konopka will return to the lineup after missing five games due to a lower-body injury. He'll center Dowell and Torrey Mitchell. Justin Falk also will return to the lineup in place of Brett Clark. Falk's last appeared in the lineup on April 11 against the St. Louis Blues.

On Sunday, the Wild outshot the Calgary Flames, 35-24, but managed only one goal in a 4-1 loss. Zach Parise scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season for the Wild, with assists going to Charlie Coyle and Mikko Koivu. Niklas Backstrom made 20 saves in the loss.

The Kings skated to a 4-3 overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Mike Richards scored once and Dustin Brown added two goals in regulation, setting Jeff Carter up for the winner in overtime. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the win.   
Meet The Blues If You're Going
After winning the Cup last season as an eight seed, the Kings gave themselves some breathing room by locking up a playoff spot with its win over Dallas.

LA comes into Xcel Energy Center on a roll, earning points in five straight games, tying a season high (4-0-1). 
Fan Celebration Week - All fans receive a scratch-and-win card for the chance to win prizes.

Wild players will wear camo jerseys during warmups tonight. They will be auctioned off beginning April 25 and the bidding will continue through May 12. The auction will benefit the Minnesota Wild Foundation and Defending the Blue Line.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Zach Parise scored Sunday and matched his team-high for most shots in a game this season with nine. He leads the Wild in goals (17), points (36) and GWG (4) in 45 games this season. The alternate captain has 14 points (6-8=14) in his last 18 games and 21 points (9-12=21) in his last 23 contests.

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 Pregame | Cullen Pregame | Dowell Pregame |
PONDcast
Wild vs. LAK
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
With new blood coming from Houston, this is what the lines will look like:

Coyle – Koivu – Parise
Clutterbuck – Cullen – Setoguchi
Pominville – Brodziak – Bouchard
  Mitchell – Konopka – Dowell

With Falk in the lineup, this is what the blue line might look like:

Brodin – Suter
Gilbert – Stoner
Falk – Spurgeon

Backstrom is T-2nd in the NHL with 22 wins this season. He has started 28 of the Wild’s last 30 games and is 19-10-2 with a .910 SV% and 2.44 GAA in his last 31 starts since 2/9.
View From The Press Box
Why should it not be hard for us? This is the first year that we're trying to get (to the playoffs) in five years. It’s supposed to be hard for us. That's part of the battle.

- Yeo on trying to secure a playoff birth
Brett Clark and Nate Prosser will be the healthy scratches on the blue line. Veilleux will be scratched at forward.

Mike Rupp is out due to lower-body injuries. Dany Heatley is out for the rest of the season following arthriscopic shoulder surgery on Tuesday.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Willie Mitchell skated in 288 games with Minnesota in parts of five seasons (2000-06). Four of the last five meetings between the Wild and Kings in Saint Paul have been decided in a shootout, with Minnesota claiming three-straight victories in those shootouts.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Los Angeles will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North 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.
 
Wild.com
Iowa Wild Set For 2013-14 | Three Recalled; Three Reassigned | Every Scar Has A Story | Five Takeaways vs. CAL | Prospect Report - April 17 |
WildTV
Yeo - April 22 | Harding - April 22 |
PONDcast
PONDcast - April 22 |
Photo Gallery
Wild vs. CAL - April 21 |

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 23 '13LAK 1 at MIN 2C. Clutterbuck
Apr 04 '13MIN 0 at LAK 3J. Williams
Mar 30 '13LAK 3 at MIN 4 - SOM. Koivu
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Kopitar45103141+141601
J. Carter4626733+01488
M. Richards46122032-64263
J. Williams46102131+142212
D. Brown46181129+62281
S. Voynov4651924+71412
D. Doughty4661622+43430
J. Stoll4671017+22813
J. Muzzin437916+143531
T. Lewis465813+61902
D. Penner3221113-21800
K. Clifford465712+05101
R. Scuderi4611011-4400
D. King454610-21100
C. Fraser33257-42500
J. Nolan42246-64600
T. Toffoli8235+3210
A. Martinez27145-21000
S. Gagne11055+2200
D. Drewiske20134+31410
B. Richardson14134+01000
R. Regehr39044-42100
K. Ellerby43033+25200
M. Greene4011-2600
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Quick3517-12-4828282.44.901
J. Bernier149-3-1243061.88.922
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise46172037+41674
M. Koivu46102535+32403
J. Pominville47142034+1822
R. Suter4642832+12431
D. Setoguchi46121426+52042
M. Cullen4071926+81000
D. Heatley36111021-12831
P. Bouchard4171219+5802
J. Spurgeon375914+0442
K. Brodziak468412-152011
C. Coyle358412+62812
T. Gilbert413912-81810
J. Brodin432911+61010
C. Stoner4601010+34200
C. Clutterbuck40459-62701
T. Mitchell43448-62101
M. Granlund27268-4600
J. Zucker19415+4800
M. Rupp38134-26700
J. Falk34033-84000
M. Scandella6101-1400
B. Clark8011-9000
Z. Konopka35000-310000
N. Prosser17000+4400
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Dowell1000+0000
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom4023-14-39410372.46.909
D. Kuemper61-2-0101192.08.916
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
M. Hackett10-1-05335.08.848
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