Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 46 vs. Minnesota, January 21, 2016, 7:30pm PST
The Los Angeles Kings enter Thursday’s matchup having won their last two as they hope to make it three-in-a-row against the 22-16-8 Minnesota Wild.
This will be the second of three meetings between the Kings and Wild this season. Los Angeles took the first matchup back on Oct. 16 in overtime by a 2-1 count. The win was also the silver-and-black’s first of the season.
As for the Wild, they are struggling. On Wednesday, they lost in Anaheim, extending their losing streak to five games. Despite their recent losing ways, though, a date at STAPLES Center may just be what the Wild need, especially if Mikko Koivu and Nino Niederreiter are in the lineup.
In 31 career games against the Kings, Koivu has registered 28 points while Niederreiter scored twice against the Kings last March. Overall, though, just three goals and an assist in eight games, but he will look to improve on that mark.
Arguably the biggest storyline heading into Thursday, however, is the return of Jarret Stoll.
After spending seven seasons with the Kings where he was instrumental in helping them with two Stanley Cups, Stoll returns to STAPLES Center for the first time since leaving last summer. But after a 29-game stint with the New York Rangers ended, Stoll was claimed off waivers from the Wild where, in 17 games, he has a goal and an assist. Expect the veteran to receive a nice ovation prior to Thursday’s game.
As for the Kings, they will be eyeing their 30th win on this night. Jonathan Quick, who is expected to start, has won nine of his last 11 while Anze Kopitar is showing no signs of slowing down after his contract extension, notching 20 points in his last 12 games. Tyler Toffoli, who leads the club with 22 goals, has 10 of them in his last 12 while Jake Muzzin is riding an eight-game point streak.
This is a contest between two clubs going in different directions. Will those continue or will we see a change? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Enjoy the game!