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  • 3/19 PREGAME: Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild

    Heather Rule

    Once again, the Minnesota Wild have a game ahead of them with potential playoff-race implications.


    The Wild hold the third spot in the Central Division with 89 points. As they try to distance themselves from the wild-card teams, the Los Angeles Kings (37-24-12) are tied with wild-card contender Dallas with 84 points each. The Kings visit St. Paul for a game Monday night.


    Colorado holds the first wild-card spot with 86 points, just three back of the Wild. Two points Monday night would put some important distance between them, and keep the Kings at bay at the same time.


    After winning both games of the road back-to-back over the weekend, the Wild look to continue their home success and win three straight games; a victory would be No. 25 at home this season. The matchup with the Kings starts a three-game homestand. They beat Vegas 4-2 and Arizona 3-1.


    The Kings won the first meeting between these two teams in a 5-2 decision Dec. 5 in Los Angeles. Charlie Coyle and Tyler Ennis scored for Minnesota. Coyle is on a bit of a run lately, with a six-game point streak and three goals and four assists in that span. He has 11 goals this season.


    The Wild are 5-1-2 in their past eight games overall against the Kings. Ten of their last 24 meetings have needed extra time to reach a winner. The Wild are 14-4-4 in their last 22 games against the Kings in St. Paul, which includes a four-game winning streak dating back nearly three years to March 28, 2015.


    Mikko Koivu leads the Wild with 34 points in 37 games against Los Angeles, followed by Matt Cullen with 26 points. Points leader Eric Staal has 38 goals with an empty-netter in Arizona. He’s well on his way to hitting the 40-goal mark for one of his best seasons in years.


    Devan Dubnyk, fresh off his 200th career victory in Arizona, is 7-5-1 with a 2.42 GAA and .926 save percentage in 14 games (13 starts) versus the Kings. Backup Alex Stalock is winless in three games (two starts) against them.


    On the other end, Kings netminder Jonathan Quick holds an 11-7-4 record with a 2.49 GAA and .900 save percentage in 22 starts facing the Wild.


    Taking a look at Minnesota connections, former Wild defenseman Christian Folin is now a member of the Kings. He tallied 23 points in 118 games with Minnesota and has three goals and seven assists this season. Former Wild center Torrey Mitchell (2012-14) has five goals and five assists this season with the Kings. Defenseman Derek Forbort is a Duluth native and center Jonny Brodzinski is from Ham Lake.


    Injury list:

    Luke Kunin (ACL tear in left knee), out for season, 6 games

    Jared Spurgeon (right hamstring tear), out for a minimum of four weeks, 2 games

    Total man games lost: 122 games


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