Can they make it stick? That’s one of the two big questions entering tonight’s Kings game in Minnesota.
A little over a week ago the Kings vaulted themselves to the top of the Pacific Division standings on the strength of a six-game winning streak. It was short lived though, as a tough home loss to Boston temporarily set them back. Captain Dustin Brown was still confident in the locker room that night, saying that if the team gave a similar effort in their remaining games, he liked their chances. They’ve gone 2-1 since then and have a chance to hold onto first place if they can beat the Wild.
The other big question is who will start in goal. Jonathan Bernier would seem to be the obvious choice, especially considering the Kings didn’t even get to the hotel until about 3:00 this morning. However, Jonathan Quick faced a season low 14 shots last night. And with coach Darryl Sutter not afraid to give his number-one guy a heavy workload, anything is possible.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams and LA holds a 2-1 edge thus far. For a little trivia note, the first time the Kings and Wild ever met was on December 2, 2000. LA came away winners that night by the final score of 3-2 – getting goals by Luc Robitaille, Brian Smolinksi and Ziggy Palffy. Meanwhile, Minnesota picked up markers from Sergei Krivokrasov and Jim Dowd.
Back to tonight though…
Jeff Carter, who suffered an ankle injury late in Wednesday’s game vs. the Flames, will miss his second start. Brad Richardson will replace his spot in the line-up and is expected to play on the top line again, like he did last night vs. the Oilers.
As usual, MayorsManor will run a First Goal Contest tonight. If you win, you’ll be going to Monday’s game at Staples Center. It’s pretty easy to play, simply leave a comment below with the LA player you think will score first vs. the Wild. All correct answers will be pooled together and one random winner will be awarded a free pair of tickets.
To help you with your selection, the following stats may come in handy…
– Dustin Brown has 4 goals in 26 career games vs Minnesota
– Anze Kopitar has 8 goals in 23 games
– Justin Williams has 4 goals in 15 games
– Mike Richards has 0 goals in 8 games
– Jarret Stoll has 8 goals in 39 games
– Brad Richardson has 5 goal in 23 games
– Doughty has 2 goals in 14 games
Of course, feel free to take any of the other Kings players. Just remember that Kevin Westgarth and Davis Drewiske are the likely scratches.