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Wild-Los Angeles game preview

  • April 23, 2013 - 1:58 AM

7P.M. VS. LOS ANGELES • XCEL ENERGY CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild, after winning two of three on the road, blew a great opportunity against a rebuilding Calgary Flames team by losing 4-1 on Sunday. That opened a three-game homestand with a fifth consecutive home defeat (0-4-1, four goals scored). Now the Kings come to town, and they are looking a lot like the team that cruised to a Stanley Cup last spring. They are 4-0-1 in their past five and 9-2-3 in their past 14. The Wild beat them 4-3 in a shootout at home March 30.

Players to watch: Kings C Jeff Carter leads the Western Conference with 25 goals. He has 21 goals in the past 33 games. C Anze Kopitar is tied for 22nd in the NHL with 41 points — 32 points in the past 31 games —but no goals in the past 13. RW Dustin Brown is tied for fifth in the West with 18 goals. Wild checkers Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell will make their season debuts (and Dowell’s Wild debut). D Ryan Suter, second among NHL blue-liners with 28 assists, has topped 30 minutes in four of the past eight games. LW Zach Parise is fourth in the NHL with 172 shots. The Wild is 8-3-2 when Parise scores a goal.

Numbers: The Kings’ penalty kill has extinguished 16 consecutive penalties and 48 of the past 53. Their power play has goals in eight consecutive games; the Wild allowed three power-play goals on three chances Sunday. Four of the past five meetings have gone to a shootout (Wild winning three in a row).

Injuries: Wild LW Mike Rupp (lower body), RW Dany Heatley (shoulder surgery) and C Zenon Konopka (broken foot) are out. Kings D Willie Mitchell (knee) is out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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