|MIN||1||2||1||(0 - 0)||4|
|LAK||0||0||2||(0 - 0)||2|
The Minnesota Wild haven't won six in a row in nearly five years, and they've never won six straight on the road. They can accomplish both of those feats Thursday night in Los Angeles, where they were dominated by the Kings last month.
Minnesota (18-7-3) leads the NHL with 39 points and is on its third five-game winning streak of the season after posting a 2-1 victory in San Jose on Tuesday night.
The win was also the Wild's franchise record-tying fifth straight on the road. They haven't taken six in a row overall since winning a franchise-best nine consecutive games March 8-24, 2007.
Tuesday's victory was all the more impressive considering Minnesota had to rely on its emergency goaltender.
With starter Niklas Backstrom out because of a groin problem and Josh Harding leaving less than two minutes in with an apparent neck injury, Matt Hackett entered and stopped all 34 shots he faced to win his NHL debut.
"I just jumped in there and tried to stop pucks," said Hackett, whose uncle Jeff Hackett played 15 seasons as a goalie in the NHL. "I'm still shaking. I was shaking the whole time. It's an unbelievable feeling."
Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored late in the first period to help Minnesota win for the 10th time in 12 games. Koivu leads the Wild with 18 assists and 23 points, and he has four goals and nine assists in the past 10 contests.
Hackett may be pressed into action again Thursday with the statuses of Backstrom and Harding unknown, and coach Mike Yeo sounded as if the Wild won't miss a beat if the 21-year-old is in net.
"Really impressive," Yeo said. "... It's not an easy situation to go in and play your first game. The way he handled it, he was in control all night."
Los Angeles (13-10-4) was in control for the first two periods against the visiting Wild on Nov. 12, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and knocking Harding out en route to a 5-2 victory.
The Kings are 5-1-1 at home against the Wild since the 2008-09 season.
Los Angeles has lost two straight and four of six after falling 3-2 in Anaheim on Tuesday night. The Kings tied the game in the third period after falling behind 2-0, but allowed the winning goal with 48.8 seconds remaining.
"I thought we generated some opportunities here," said coach Terry Murray, who was denied his 500th career victory. "We had plenty of good looks and point-blank situations. I liked our attitude. If you do that consistently, you're going to get some more goals."
Five players scored for the Kings in last month's matchup with the Wild, who will be without right wing Devin Setoguchi for this game. Setoguchi, tied for the team lead with eight goals, left Tuesday's contest with a lower-body injury and was placed on injured reserve Thursday.
Winger Cal Clutterbuck, who has eight goals as well, is also out. Minnesota recalled Jeff Taffe to provide depth up front.
|Mar 31 '12||LAK 3 at MIN 4 - SO||E. Christensen|
|Feb 28 '12||LAK 4 at MIN 0||J. Williams|
|Dec 08 '11||MIN 4 at LAK 2||M. Scandella|
|Nov 12 '11||MIN 2 at LAK 5||D. Brown|