Game 46 Preview: Los Angeles at Minnesota - LA Kings Insider

Los Angeles Kings (26-14-5) at Minnesota Wild (24-18-3)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 7:00 pm CT
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
Referees: #9 Dan O’Rourke, #21 Don VanMassenhoven
Linesmen: #80 Thor Nelson, #73 Vaughan Rody

Los Angeles Projected Starting Goaltender – Jonathan Bernier
Season: 13 GP (11 GS) / 9-2-1 record / 1.86 GAA / .922 Sv% / 1 SHO
Career vs Minnesota: 5 (5) / 3-0-2 / 0.97 / .960 / 3
Last Game vs Minnesota: 4/4/13 / 60 MP / 23-23 shots / 3-0 W
2012-13, Away: 6 (4) / 3-2-1 / 2.20 / .901 / 0

Minnesota Projected Starting Goaltender – Niklas Backstrom
Season: 39 (38) / 22-14-3 / 2.50 / .908 / 2
Career vs Los Angeles: 18 (17) / 7-6-3 / 2.54 / .911 / 2
Last Game vs Los Angeles: 4/4/13 / 3 MP / 0-2 shots / 0-3 L
2012-13, Home: 20 (19) / 11-7-2 / 2.16 / .915 / 1

Los Angeles Leaders
Total Points: Anze Kopitar (10-31=41)
Goals: Jeff Carter (25-7=32)
Assists: Anze Kopitar (10-31=41)
Plus/Minus: Justin Williams (+15; 10-21=31)
Penalty Minutes: Keaton Ellerby (52*; 0-3=3)
*36 of Ellerby’s penalty minutes came as a member of the Florida Panthers.

Minnesota Leaders
Total Points: Zach Parise (17-19=36)
Goals: Zach Parise (17-19=36)
Assists: Ryan Suter (4-28=32)
Plus/Minus: Matt Cullen (+7; 7-19=26)
Penalty Minutes: Zenon Konopka (100; 0-0=0)

A stick tap goes to: Second Periods. The Kings and Wild have combined to outscore their opponents 94-78 and outshoot their opponents 957-740 in second periods this season. Though Los Angeles has outscored and outshot their opponents in each period in regulation, Minnesota has been outshot and outscored in the first and third periods in 2012-13.

A fist shake goes to: Minnesota’s penalty killing. The Wild has gone three games without killing off a penalty, as Edmonton, San Jose and Calgary have combined to score five goals on five opportunities. If you want to shake both fists, Minnesota has scored either no goals or one goal in five of its last nine games.

Why the Kings need to win this game: Why change what I wrote on Sunday? It’s still applicable: the Kings want to be playing their best hockey as they enter the playoffs. Earning home ice advantage for the first time since 1992 would be a major bonus; Los Angeles has opened its last 15 series on the road.

Rankings and Statistics
Goals/Game: LAK – 8 / 2.80; MIN – 19 / 2.49
Goals Against/Game: LAK – t-8 / 2.38; MIN – t-14 / 2.60
Power Play: LAK – 10 / 20.5%; MIN – 16 / 17.9%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 9 / 83.3%; MIN – 21 / 80.2%
Shots/Game: LAK – 10 / 30.2; MIN – 18 / 28.6
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 3 / 24.7; MIN – t-5 / 27.3
Faceoffs: LAK – 4 / 52.1%; MIN – 3 / 52.5%
Save Percentage: LAK – 17 / .904; MIN – 16 / .905

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dustin Penner – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Brad Richardson – Jordan Nolan

Robyn Regehr – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Matt Greene

Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Quick

Notes: The Kings are 23-9-3 in their last 35 games, outscoring their opponents 105-77, not counting shootout goals. Los Angeles has killed off 16 consecutive penalties over the last six games and is 48-for-53 on the penalty kill (90.6%) over the last 18 games. The Kings are 33-for-138 on the power play (23.9%) over the last 41 games. The Kings have averaged 32.9 shots per game over the last 14 games (460 shots / 14 games). Jeff Carter leads the league with eight game-winning goals. Slava Voynov will play in his 100th career game tonight. As always, line projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Minnesota

Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Cal Clutterbuck – Matt Cullen – Devin Setoguchi
Pierre-Marc Bouchard – Kyle Brodziak – Jason Pominville
Jake Dowell – Zenon Konopka – Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Clayton Stoner – Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk – Tom Gilbert

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Notes: Lines via’s At the Rink blog. Minnesota recalled G Josh Harding, F Jake Dowell and F Stephane Veilleux from AHL-Houston on Monday and reassigned G Darcy Kuemper, F Mikael Granlund and F Jason Zucker. The Wild has not won at home since its 4-3 shootout win over the Kings on March 30. Since then, Minnesota has lost to St. Louis (twice), Chicago and Calgary in regulation and Columbus in a shootout at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota is 3-7-1 overall since its shootout win over Los Angeles and has been outscored 10-2 by San Jose and Calgary over its last two games. Ryan Suter leads the NHL in time on ice per game, averaging 27:06. He topped 30 minutes of ice time for the fourth time in his last eight games with 30:46 in a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Sunday. As always, line projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.