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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 24th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Kings (26-35-14) at Minnesota Wild (44-24-7), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will try to extend their franchise long winning streak tonight when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild's winning burst reached eight games on Thursday with a 5-1 win over St. Louis. The Wild now trail Vancouver by only one point for the lead in the Northwest Division and are sixth overall in the West, one point behind San Jose in the conference standings.

Marian Gaborik posted two goals and an assist as the Wild have won the first two games of their current five-game homestand to improve to 25-6-4 as the host. Minnesota wraps its homestand with two straight games against Calgary.

Gaborik, meanwhile, has done his part offensively with five goals and seven assists over a seven-game point streak. His five tallies have come over his last four games.

Pavol Demitra registered a goal -- his third in as many games -- and two assists and Pierre-Marc Bouchard had three helpers for the Wild, who improved to 12-1-2 over their last 15 games. Niklas Backstrom ended with 22 saves.

Backstrom will continue to see time in net as goaltender Manny Fernandez is sidelined with a left knee injury.

The Wild will also be going for the season sweep of Los Angeles tonight. Minnesota has outscored the Kings, 8-4, over the first three encounters this season.

Los Angeles began a three-game road trip with a 2-1 win over Chicago on Friday. Defenseman Mike Weaver scored the deciding goal with 3:29 remaining to lift the Kings over the Blackhawks.

Patrick O'Sullivan also lit the lamp while Mathieu Garon posted 26 saves for LA, which has won three of four and improved to 11-20-15 on the road this season. O'Sullivan extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, eight assists).

The club, though, is 13th overall in the West with just 66 points.

03/24 11:21:35 ET


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