Wild at Kings roster notes, including a first NHL start

Some quick notes on tonight’s game, featuring the Minnesota Wild’s second (and final) trip to Staples Center this season:

– Coach Terry Murray was right yesterday, both Alec Martinez and Willie Mitchell won’t be in the line-up tonight. However, in a reversal from the way things looked 24 hours ago, it’s Martinez who will play. To create the roster spot for #27’s removal from IR, Mitchell was added to IR – retroactive to December 1st, as his groin hasn’t fully recovered.

– The status of Justin Williams is still TBD. He skated this morning, but his availability for tonight will be a game-time decision. Brad Richardson will skate in warm-ups tonight and will get the call if #14 isn’t ready to go.

Trevor Lewis will go back in the line-up tonight, playing right wing on the fourth line. Apparently, he’s shown the necessary grit in practice the last few days.

– As of now, the lines appear to be:

Dustin Penner – Anze Koptiar – Dustin Brown
Simon Gagne – Jarret Stoll – Williams/Richardson
Ethan Moreau – Andrei Loktionov – Trent Hunter
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Trevor Lewis

Of course, that’s all subject to change on a shift by shift basis.

UPDATE: The plan now is to flip-flop Stoll and Loktionov. So, Stoll returns to the third line.

– For the Wild, they’ve announced Matt Hackett will make his first NHL start in net. He came on in relief the other night vs. San Jose and earned his first victory. Hackett was selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft and played junior hockey in the OHL. Last season he was the starting goalie for the Wild’s AHL farm team, the Houston Aeros – who lost the championship in a six-game series with Binghamton. Former Kings defenseman Darryl Sydor was the assistant coach on that team (he’s now an assistant with the Wild) and former Kings draft pick Patrick O’Sullivan played forward for them. In his junior days, Hackett was teammates with future Kings draft picks Jordan Nolan and Robbie Czarnik.

Devin Setoguchi was placed on IR earlier today by the Wild. He’ll miss the action tonight at Staples Center.

Game time is 7:30pm PST.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
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