(SportsNetwork.com) – The Minnesota Wild will try to follow up a successful
road trip with another home victory on Wednesday night as they play host to
the Los Angeles Kings.
The Wild won two of three on their swing, with Saturday’s loss to the Tampa
Bay Lightning snapping a four-game winning streak overall.
Minnesota was able to bounce back on Monday versus the Florida Panthers,
getting a pair of goals from Jason Zucker in a 4-1 triumph. Nino Niederreiter
and Zach Parise also scored, Mikko Koivu had two assists and Niklas Backstrom
made 29 saves in his first start since Nov. 16.
“I was just trying to play hard,” Zucker said. “It was nice to get that win.”
While Zucker upped his season goal total to eight, Niederreiter has collected
six goals and one assist over his last six games.
Darcy Kuemper could draw the start for the Wild tonight and is 1-0-0 with a
0.99 goals against average and .962 save percentage in one career start and
one career relief appearance versus the Kings.
Minnesota is 7-1-0 at home this season and will take on a Los Angeles squad
that sits just 1-4-4 on the road. The Kings have lost the first two of a
three-game swing, falling 4-3 to Nashville in a shootout on Tuesday night.
After the first 10 skaters of the tiebreaker failed to score, the Predators’
James Neal beat Martin Jones between the pads. Pekka Rinne then closed off the
lane along the ice to deny Dwight King’s chance for Los Angeles.
Jamie McBain, Marian Gaborik and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who got 30
saves from Jones and killed off all four Nashville power plays.
“(Our) PK was great, it kept us in the game,” Doughty said.
After Jones made his fourth start of the season, Jonathan Quick figures to
face the Wild tonight. He is 9-4-3 with a 2.39 GAA and .904 save percentage
lifetime in his matchup.
Quick made 40 saves in a 2-1 home victory over the Wild on Oct. 19, snapping a
two-game series losing streak. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson had the goals.
Backstrom made just 14 saves for the Wild, who have won four of their last six
at home versus the Kings.