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Game Day #44: Wild @ Kings Preview

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A matchup of teams that are 180 degrees apart. Not in direction; in temperature.

CARTER
CARTER
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Minnesota Wild (Staples Center)

Time: 7:30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Hockey Wilderness

Wild (projected) lineup:

Heatley-Coyle-Pominville
Niederreiter-Granlund-Zucker
Cooke-Haula-Fontaine
Veilleux-Brodziak-Mitchell

Suter-Brodin
Scandella-Prosser
Stoner-Ballard

Kuemper

Injured: Josh Harding, Nicklas Backstrom (sort of), Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jared Spurgeon; Scratched: Jonathon Blum.

Kings (projected) lineup:

King-Kopitar-Carter
Brown-Stoll-Williams
Frattin-Richards-Toffoli
Clifford-Lewis-Nolan

Muzzin-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Regehr-Martinez

Quick

Injured: Jonathan Quick; Scratched: Tanner Pearson, Colin Fraser, Matt Greene.

Game notes:

  • So, yeah, the Wild are having a bit of an injury problem. Zach Parise has been out with a broken foot, while Josh Harding has been ailing with an unknown illness. Captain Mikko Koivu decided to get involved with the injury party, fracturing his ankle on Saturday. He just had surgery on it and will be out for a month. Poor Jason Pominville.
  • In short: this is a good opportunity, boys. Don't screw it up.
  • Darcy Kuemper gets the start in net, with Harding out and Niklas Backstrom battling what Wild beat writer Michael Russo is calling "abdominal stiffness." Do some crunches, Niklas!
  • Defenseman Ryan Suter recorded his first career hat trick on Saturday, as the Wild recorded a 5-3 victory over Washington. They're undefeated in January. What injuries?
    (Yes, they've only played two games in January, but I had to make it sound impressive.)
  • This is only loosely related, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers remain the top team in college hockey. Go Hudson Fasching.
  • The Kings looked excellent on Saturday, so no need to try and force new call-up Tanner Pearson into the lineup. He'd look awfully nice on the third line if Frattin falters, though.
  • Dwight King! Saturday was his best game since he forced us to do this with the front page:
  • Kyle Clifford, however, has been taking penalties like crazy. That's enough, kiddo.
  • I'm expecting another multiple-goal performance from Jeff Carter, who clearly won over Team Canada execs by beating an otherworldly Roberto Luongo on Saturday.
  • #freedalecmartinez
  • The Kings, of course, have six Olympians: Quick, Brown, Kopitar, Voynov, Doughty, and Carter. The Wild have five Olympians: American stalwarts Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, Swiss national hero Nino Niederreiter, and Finnish fellows Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu. Consider that tonight's ~Fun With Numbers!~
  • Prediction: Kings 6, Wild 5.

Obviously.