The Los Angeles Kings rebounded from a disastrous stretch of losses in seven of eight games (1-6-1) with victories in five straight contests. The Pacific Division-leading Kings look to extend their season-high win streak on Tuesday when they open a three-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild.
Los Angeles’ calling card has long been its defense, and Jonathan Quick continued his stellar play after turning aside 24 shots in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Chicago. The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy recipient is 4-0-0 with a 1.23 goals-against average and .952 save percentage during the win streak, but didn’t fare as well in 5-4 overtime loss at Minnesota on Feb. 27. Devan Dubnyk, who picked up the win in that outing to improve to 7-4-1 in his career versus the Kings, has answered a rough patch with back-to-back strong performances. The 31-year-old Saskatchewan native made 29 saves in a 4-2 victory versus Vegas on Thursday before turning aside 41 shots two nights later in a 2-1 overtime win against St. Louis.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN
ABOUT THE WILD (13-10-3): Defenseman Matt Dumba once again has been contributing offensively with four points in his last four games after setting career highs in goals (11), assists (23), points (34) and plus-minus (plus-15) last season. The 23-year-old Saskatchewan native set up the game-winning goal versus the Blues after his slap shot glanced off Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland in front of the net to set up Eric Staal’s rebound before using his considerable speed to give Minnesota its second straight win. “Matt looked like he was shot out of a cannon when he picked up the puck,” coach Bruce Boudreau said after Dumba scored 39 seconds into overtime versus the Blues.
ABOUT THE KINGS (17-8-3): While captain Anze Kopitar has scored in back-to-back contests and owns a three-game point streak (three goals, two assists), the 30-year-old Slovene appeared happier to talk about the team’s defensive plan against the Blackhawks as opposed to his offensive surge. “Try to block shots, as many as you can, take away lanes because they have a lot of guys that can make some pretty tight passes,” Kopitar said. “So, I thought we obviously did a good job.” The dedication to defense has shown itself on the team’s top-ranked penalty kill (89.5 percent) as Los Angeles has thwarted 15 of 16 opportunities during its win streak.
1. Minnesota LW Jason Zucker has recorded at least a point in 12 of his last 14 games (10 goals, five assists), including in each of his last six (two goals, four assists)
2. Los Angeles RW Dustin Brown has scored three times in his last five contests, giving him 11 goals already this season after mustering 14 over 80 games in 2016-17.
3. The Wild are 5-0-2 in their last seven games versus the Kings.
PREDICTION: Wild 2, Kings 1