(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Minnesota Wild will try to right
themselves after consecutive lopsided losses when they host the Los Angeles
Kings in Tuesday's clash at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, but were
slammed in San Jose, 6-1, on Thursday before dropping Sunday's home test
against Calgary by a 4-1 score.
With 51 points, Minnesota is tied with Columbus for the last two postseason
berths in the West but the clubs are only one point ahead of the Detroit Red
Wings, who beat Phoenix on Monday. The Wild and Red Wings have three games
left in the regular season, giving them a game in hand over Columbus. Detroit
and Columbus are both idle on Wednesday.
Minnesota also is three points ahead of 10th-seeded Dallas, which plays in San
The Wild haven't made the postseason since winning the Northwest Division
title in 2007-08.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, already has clinched a playoff spot and is seeded
fourth in the West, two points ahead of San Jose with three games to play for
both teams. The Sharks also play Tuesday against Dallas.
Minnesota is 13-7-2 as the hosts this season, but the club suffered a
disappointing loss in Sunday's opener of a three-game homestand. Mike
Cammalleri and Mark Cundari posted a goal and assist each to lead the Flames,
who have been eliminated from playoff contention, to a 4-1 triumph at Xcel
Zach Parise provided the sole offense for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom
stopped just 20-of-23 shots in the setback.
"We certainly don't seem to like doing things the easy way," Minnesota coach
Mike Yeo said.
The Wild will close this homestand Friday against Edmonton in the regular-
season finale at XEC before completing their schedule the following night in
The Kings have won two straight and are 4-0-1 during a five-game point streak.
The defending Stanley Cup champions earned a dramatic win on Sunday, as
Jeff Carter scored with 51.4 seconds left in overtime to lift L.A. to a 4-3
win over the visiting Stars.
Carter had two assists for the Kings, who led the game by a 2-0 score at one
point before allowing Dallas to rally and take a 3-2 lead early in the third
period. Dustin Brown scored the equalizer off a feed from Carter with 17:01
left in regulation.
Jonathan Quick also made 24 saves in the victory.
"I think he's been really good for us lately and I think it's kind of on
record of him saying that it's about winning games and us saying it's about
giving us a chance to win," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Quick.
The Kings, who are just 8-10-4 as the road team, are playing two straight as
the guest before closing the regular season Saturday against the visiting
L.A. has claimed four of the last seven meetings against Minnesota, but the
Wild have claimed three of four and four of the past six encounters in St.
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