Jan 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Game 44 Preview: Kings vs. Wild

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Team Records:

Kings (26-13-4)

Wild (22-17-5)

Quick Stats:

– Ryan Sutter recorded his first career hat-trick and the first hat-trick by a defenseman for the Wild in franchise history on Saturday.

– Jeff Carter has eight goals in his past 12 games.

– Minnesota is 1-8-1 in their last ten road games.

Preview:

The Los Angeles Kings welcome the Minnesota Wild to Staples Center tonight for the second of three meeting between the two Western Conference teams.

The Wild will be coming into tonight’s game minus their leading scorer as team captain, Mikko Koivu underwent surgery to repair a broken ankle yesterday. However, the loss of Koivu is not the only fire power the Wild will be playing without tonight. Forward Zach Parise coming who has 15 goals and 27 points is also on injured reserve with a broken foot. Jason Pominville is entering the game with 18 goals and 29 points and will have to carry a large amount of the offensive weight.

Tonight is the first of a two game road trip for the Wild that ends in Phoenix on Thursday night. The Wild come into tonight’s game with a 2-3-0 record over the last five games, and a 4-6-0 in their last ten games.

The Kings snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday opening a five-game home stand with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings welcomed back Jonathan Quick who turned away 27 shots for the win. It was Quick’s first game back after missing 24 games due to a groin injury.

Tonight’s game will prove vital for both teams in the standings as the Kings try and keep pace with the very competitive Pacific Division and the Wild try to keep pace in the race for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. local time.

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Tags: Game Preview Los Angeles Kings

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