NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 30th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (19-12-2) at Minnesota Wild (20-11-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After having their longest winning streak of the season snapped on Friday night, the Minnesota Wild try to avoid dropping two straight for the first time in over a month as they host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
The Wild carried a seven-game win streak into last night's meeting with the Dallas Stars, but gave up three goals in the third period -- two on the power play -- to fall in defeat 5-3.
Devin Setoguchi, Jared Spurgeon and Torrey Mitchell all scored for the Wild, who lost for the first time since March 12 versus the Anaheim Ducks. They haven't lost two in a row since Feb. 12-14 and remained two points in back of the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Northwest Division.
The Wild do have a game in hand over the Canucks and sit fourth overall in the West, but just two points ahead of the Kings.
Minnesota recalled goaltender Matt Hackett from the minors on Friday and gave him the start against the Stars for his season debut. Hackett allowed five goals on 33 shots as Niklas Backstrom got the game off after making 12 straight starts.
"Every winning streak comes to an end and that's the way things go," said Spurgeon. "We fought hard tonight, but just couldn't find a way to break through until late."
The Kings look to pull even with the Wild in the standings and have won two straight and five of their past seven. Though fifth overall in the conference, Los Angeles is just five points ahead of ninth place Dallas and Columbus.
The Kings were able to break through late on Thursday versus the St. Louis Blues, getting the game-winning goal from Mike Richards with 2:43 to play. Justin Williams then sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown also scored for the Kings, who got 20 saves from Jonathan Quick.
"Every game now is a playoff game," said Lewis. "Getting ready for the playoffs and they're all going to be tough. Points are so crucial now. Everyone's looking for points and tonight had a playoff feel."
The Kings and Wild are meeting for the first time this season and have split a four-game series in each of the previous three campaigns.
03/30 10:31:55 ET