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Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings: Game 78

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Minnesota Wild (32-35-10) vs Los Angeles Kings (39-27-12)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CDTTelevision: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the Los Angeles perspective, check out Jewels From The Crown

Minnesota Wild Los Angeles Kings

Dany Heatley - Mikko Koivu - Devin Setoguchi
Cal Clutterbuck - Kyle Brodziak - Darroll Powe
Jason Zucker - Erik Christensen - Nick Johnson
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Stephane Veilleux

Marco Scandella - Nate Prosser
Clayton Stoner
- Tom Gilbert
Justin Falk
- Steven Kampfer

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Dwight King - Anze Koptiar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Kevin Westgarth
Simon Gagne - Colin Fraser - Jarret Stoll

Willie Mitchell - Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov
Matt Greene - Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

A win tonight hurts the Dive for Five, but does give the Wild a season split with the Kings, a team that has given the Wild fits over the past few seasons.

This is a big game for the Kings, who find themselves in first place in the Pacific Division and need to keep winning to thwart off the Pesky Stars who are just one point back.

Tom Gilbert, Erik Christensen and Kyle Brodziak have been playing well of late. Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi and Cal Clutterbuck have slipped quite a bit and need to find their stride if the Wild want to go into the end of the season with any momentum, not that it matters.

The big thing to which one wants to pay attention is the play of guys playing for contracts. Erik Christensen, Kurtis Foster and Stephane Veilleux in particular. These guys need to play well and make an impression, if not for the Wild brass, for the rest of the NHL.

Enjoy the game.

Five Questions:

  1. Will Niklas Backstrom look better in his second game back? Watch for his positioning and lateral movement. He was out of position and looked really slow to move last game.
  2. Will we see Mikko Koivu in beast mode again, like he was in OT?
  3. Which Erik Christensen will show up tonight?
  4. Are Jason Zucker's first game jitters gone?
  5. Can Tom GIlbert continue to improve?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game: