Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild looks to build off Saturday's solid effort Monday in L.A.

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: March 30, 2014 - 5:07 PM

Afternoon from the friendly sky, where I'm on a short flight from Phoenix to L.A., where the ground has been shaken lately.

Wish me luck.

I wrote a follow for Monday's paper on the Wild's player-only team meeting Friday. This is a real neat story. I usually kind of ignore team meetings, but this was not your typical one. The story behind what Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter is real cool and may give you a better appreciation of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on with teams and a better respect level for the Wild's leadership group.

So check that out (it'll be on the web later this evening).

Wild practiced in Glendale this afternoon after its big win last night at Phoenix. Heck of a comeback victory over the Coyotes, holding them to no shots in the first 18:04 of the third period, including a shotless carryover from the second that lasted 24 minutes, 28 seconds.

Now, it must continue. Minnesota's not out of the woods yet and face a formidable opponent Monday night at Staples Center. The L.A. Kings, the best defensive team in the West and second-best in the NHL, has won six in a row and 14 of their past 17.

At today's practice, coach Mike Yeo went with the lines that pretty much took over Saturday's game in Phoenix.

Parise-Koivu-Coyle (By the way, I thought Coyle had another terrific game)

Moulson-Granlund-Pominville

Cooke-Brodziak-Fontaine

Veilleux (whom I also thought brought some great shifts)-Haula-Niederreiter (who's struggling)

Suter-Spurgeon

Brodin-Prosser

Scandella-Blum

Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to get his second consecutive start.

Defenseman Keith Ballard (groin) practiced but looks like he won't yet play.

Dany Heatley looks like he'll be scratched for a second straight game.

I will be on KFAN with LaVelle E. Neal The Third at 10:20 a.m. CT Monday.

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