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  • 12/5 PREGAME: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings

    Heather Rule

    The Minnesota Wild certainly know how to time their California road trips. They’re in the land of fun and sun for the week as the Minnesota fans drive through the ice and snow.


    Remember all that downtime for the Wild early in October when the season started? Now they’ll kick off a run of 10 games in 19 days before Christmas. Tis the season.


    First up, they’ll face the Los Angeles Kings (17-8-3) who are on a five-game winning streak, with the last four of those coming on the road. They’ve outscored opponents 18-6 during the streak. For the Wild (13-10-3), they hold a modest two-game winning streak after a couple home victories over Vegas and an overtime victory over St. Louis with Matt Dumba’s game-winner, just the defenseman’s second goal of the season.


    Last season against the Kings, the Wild went to overtime in two of the three meetings, going 2-0-1. The Wild are 13-6-4 in their last 23 games against the Kings with six contests going to a shootout.


    Mikko Koivu, who is goal-less in 17 games, has 34 career points in 36 games against the Kings. Jason Zucker is riding a six-game point streak and has at least a point in 12 of the last 14 games. Eric Staal leads the Wild with 10 goals and 13 assists; Zucker is the team’s goal leader with 13.


    The Wild have five power-play goals in their last four road games and their road power play ranks third in the NHL. But the Kings have the best penalty kill in the league, allowing just 10 goals over 95 attempts.


    Former Wild backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper now suits up for the Kings. Kuemper has a good start to the season. He’s 4-0-2 with a 1.72 GAA and .944 save percentage.


    Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 31 points (14-17—31), followed by Dustin Brown with 23 points and Tyler Toffoli with 13 goals and six assists.


    The Wild will also see one of their former superstars in Marian Gaborik. He’s the Wild’s all-time franchise leader in goals, power-play goals, and game-winning goals. Gaborik has two goals and two assists in six games this season. Defenseman Christian Folin has three points in 19 games with the Kings this year, including his second goal of the season last game against Chicago. Blaine High School grad Jonny Brodzinski has two goals in 13 games this season.


    Over the weekend, the Wild beat the Blues with Dumba’s goal 39 seconds into overtime for a 2-1 victory. Ryan Suter had the other Wild goal 4:26 into the first period before the Blues tied it on the power play in the second. Devan Dubnyk stopped 41 pucks to get the win.


    Injury list:

    Jared Spurgeon (groin strain), 3 games

    Zach Parise (microdiscectomy surgery), 26 games



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