LOS ANGELES @ MINNESOTA | 1/15 | 8:00 PM EST
We have the makings for an exciting NHL contest when the Los Angeles Kings head east for a matchup with the Minnesota Wild. The Kings are coming off a strong home ice victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota lost at home by a 5-2 score to the Detroit Red Wings.
Los Angeles (18-25-3) has the fewest points in the Western Conference with 39 and the fewest goals in the NHL with 104, but every so often, the Kings have shown the capability to surprise. One such instance came Saturday night when they dumped Pittsburgh 5-2 on Saturday. Alex Iafallo gave Los Angeles the lead for good in the second period and Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists as every one who was at Staples Center had a grand old time.
Minnesota has also had an up and down season. Currently the Wild is in eighth place in the Western Conference of the NHL. The Wild are 5-5 over their last ten games and Detroit handed the Wild a 5-2 beating in Minneapolis this past Saturday night that made me wonder if this Minnesota Wild team is as good as their roster says it should be. Luke Kunin and Nino Niederreieter each tallied lone goals and Devan Dubnyk allowed five of the 37 shots fired his way get past him for his fifteenth loss of the season.
The Wild must be thrilled to be back home after yielding an uncharacteristically high seven goals in Philadelphia on Monday. Despite back-to-back games and a long flight, my projections indicate Minnesota winning this game 71 percent of the time by an average of more than one goal. Take the Wild.