NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 23rd (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (26-14-5) at Minnesota Wild (24-18-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Minnesota Wild will try to right themselves after consecutive lopsided losses when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Tuesday's clash at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, but were slammed in San Jose, 6-1, on Thursday before dropping Sunday's home test against Calgary by a 4-1 score.
With 51 points, Minnesota is tied with Columbus for the last two postseason berths in the West but the clubs are only one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings, who beat Phoenix on Monday. The Wild and Red Wings have three games left in the regular season, giving them a game in hand over Columbus. Detroit and Columbus are both idle on Wednesday.
Minnesota also is three points ahead of 10th-seeded Dallas, which plays in San Jose tonight.
The Wild haven't made the postseason since winning the Northwest Division title in 2007-08.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, already has clinched a playoff spot and is seeded fourth in the West, two points ahead of San Jose with three games to play for both teams. The Sharks also play Tuesday against Dallas.
Minnesota is 13-7-2 as the hosts this season, but the club suffered a disappointing loss in Sunday's opener of a three-game homestand. Mike Cammalleri and Mark Cundari posted a goal and assist each to lead the Flames, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, to a 4-1 triumph at Xcel Energy Center.
Zach Parise provided the sole offense for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom stopped just 20-of-23 shots in the setback.
"We certainly don't seem to like doing things the easy way," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said.
The Wild will close this homestand Friday against Edmonton in the regular- season finale at XEC before completing their schedule the following night in Colorado.
The Kings have won two straight and are 4-0-1 during a five-game point streak. The defending Stanley Cup champions earned a dramatic win on Sunday, as Jeff Carter scored with 51.4 seconds left in overtime to lift L.A. to a 4-3 win over the visiting Stars.
Carter had two assists for the Kings, who led the game by a 2-0 score at one point before allowing Dallas to rally and take a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Dustin Brown scored the equalizer off a feed from Carter with 17:01 left in regulation.
Jonathan Quick also made 24 saves in the victory.
"I think he's been really good for us lately and I think it's kind of on record of him saying that it's about winning games and us saying it's about giving us a chance to win," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Quick.
The Kings, who are just 8-10-4 as the road team, are playing two straight as the guest before closing the regular season Saturday against the visiting Sharks.
L.A. has claimed four of the last seven meetings against Minnesota, but the Wild have claimed three of four and four of the past six encounters in St. Paul.
04/23 10:54:13 ET