Jan 7, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) makes a save off a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) in the shootout during the game at Staples Center. Wild won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings vs Minnesota Wild Game Preview

The Los Angeles Kings look to extend their league high six game winning streak and while their opponent will be looking to solidify their playoff standing.

Minnesota Wild
(38-26-11, 87 points) 4th Central Division

VS

Kings logo (44-25-6, 94 points) 3rd Pacific Division

7:00 PM

STAPLES CENTER

TV:  NBCSN;  RADIO:  KEIB AM 1150

 

MATCHUP HISTORY

This is the third meeting of the season between the clubs, and both have been very tight games.  Los Angeles beat the Wild in Minnesota in a shootout on a winner by Anze Kopitar.  The Wild returned the favor at Staples in January with Nino Niederreiter notching the shootout winner.

 

LAST GAMES

The Kings extended their winning streak to 5 games with a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, while the Wild were ending a skid against the Phoenix Coyotes at the same time by a score of 3-1.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Dany Heatley, MIN – How the mighty have fallen, as the former 2 time 50 goal scorer has seen his production drop to the point where he might not even get to 15 this year.  He is also a team-worst -18.

Marian Gaborik, LAK – The former Minnesota Wild player (he was their first ever draft pick), he is still their franchise leader in goals, and 2nd in points.  Gaborik has 8 points in 12 games since coming over to the Kings from the Blue Jackets and has fit in nicely.

 

TOP 3  STORYLINES FOR THE GAME

1.  Playoff Primer – This game means much more to the Wild in the grand scheme of things.  They lead the 9th place Stars by just 4 points, and after tonight the Stars will have 2 games in hand.  Adding two points would be huge for Minnesota.

2.  More Scoring – The Kings have juggled their lines since the addition of Gaborik, and the overall mix seems to be working.  They are up almost half a goal per game, while continuing their stellar defensive play.

3.  Shut Down Koivu – The key to winning this game is to shut down Wild captain Mikko Koivu.  He has been playing set-up man and most of the offense goes through him.

Next Kings Game Full schedule »

Tags: Dany Heatley Game Preview Los Angeles Kings Marian Gaborik Mikko Koivu

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