Preview, Game Day #3: Kings @ Wild

The Kings are undefeated with Tanner Pearson in the lineup this year.

Game Day #3: Los Angeles Kings @ Minnesota Wild

How to Watch/Listen, Line Combinations

What Kings fans will be watching for: A WIN.

More specificially: can an infusion of Tom Gilbert, Nic Dowd, and Tanner Pearson get LA on the right track? The offense and defense aren't sputtering as badly as they did during last year's season-opening skid, but this still a team struggling to find its form.

What Wild fans will be watching for: Backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper makes his season debut. As Hockey Wilderness points out, he had a pretty crappy second half; if the Wild want Devan Dubnyk to play fewer than 67 games this season, they need more of what Kuemper did in the first half.

What everyone else will be watching for: Can coach Bruce Boudreau defy the odds and make a game between the Kings and the Wild exciting? Also, will Boudreau be able to focus as he coaches against his favorite team?

Stat of the Day: Last season, Dubnyk and Kuemper put up a .972 save percentage against the Kings.

The Key Players: Tanner Pearson and Mikael Granlund, two 24-year-old second-line left wingers. Pearson's return from suspension should give the Kings' offense a spark. Granlund, whose first full NHL season provided similar dividends to Pearson's last year, has never really had the expected breakout season to follow that up. but recently switched to wing and is looking for a spark of his own.

The Prediction: Either the Dodgers or the Kings win, at least.