Preview: For the 10th time in franchise history and first time since the 2015-16 opener, the Wild scored four third-period goals Thursday in San Jose to open a three-game California jaunt with a come-from-behind victory over the Sharks. The Wild, 4-0-1 in its past five against the Kings, has won seven in a row on the road, one shy of matching Columbus for longest such streak in the NHL this season. The Wild’s 8-1-3 in its past 12 on the road. The Kings have lost six of their past nine and are coming off a 4-0 home loss to Detroit.
Players to watch: Wild RW Mikael Granlund has five two-point games in his past six and a team-leading nine. C Eric Staal leads the Wild with 13 goals and 33 points in 37 games. That’s the same number of goals he scored in 83 games last season. In the past 19 games, C Mikko Koivu has nine goals and 20 points. G Darcy Kuemper is expected to start. He is 2-0-1 in four games at the Staples Center with a 0.98 goals-against average and .967 save percentage. Kings C Anze Kopitar has 28 points in 37 games against the Wild. C Jeff Carter has 15 points in 23 games against the Wild.
Numbers: The Wild, which leads the West with 3.16 goals per game and a plus-38 goal differential, has allowed four goals in four of its past five games. … The Wild is 13-6-3 in its past 22 games against the Kings with six of the games decided in a shootout and 6-4-1 in its past 11 in Los Angeles.
Injuries: Kings G Jonathan Quick (groin) and C Tyler Toffoli (lower body) are out.