Los Angeles (0-2-0) at Minnesota (1-1-0)
When: Tuesday, October 18th 2016
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St Paul, MN
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: FSN West, FSN North
The Los Angeles Kings hope to get the offense going when they visit the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night to begin a brief two-game road trip. L.A. has scored just three goals in their first two games to start the season 0-2. The Kings are without Marian Gaborik (broken right foot), but will see the return of forward Tanner Pearson from a two-game suspension on Tuesday. Pearson had career highs in goals (15), assists (21) and points (36) last season and served his ban for a check to the head of Edmonton defenseman Brandon Davidson during the preseason. Tyler Toffoli scored the Kings only goal in a 2-1 setback at San Jose on Wednesday and is a +1 after two games after leading the league with a +35 rating last season. Toffoli has recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in nine career games against Minnesota, with two goals coming in last season’s three-game series. Anze Kopitar scored in overtime of a 2-1 win over the Wild last October, and has set up a goal in each of the first two games this season.
The Wild looked like they were headed for an 0-2 start before erupting for three goals in the second period Saturday night in a comeback win over Winnipeg. The scoring outburst came on the heels of a tongue-lashing by new coach Bruce Boudreau. “There were choice words by Bruce, I guess you could say, but they were the right things said,” said veteran Eric Staal, who scored his first goal with his new team after signing a three-year, $10.5 million contract in the offseason. Captain Mikko Koivu had an assist versus the Jets and has 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in 33 career meetings with Los Angeles including a pair of power-play goals last season. Erik Haula also scored twice versus the Kings, but has yet to record a point this season. G Devan Dubnyk has allowed three goals in each contest this season, but stopped 38 of 39 shots in his last meeting with the Kings.
Having Pearson back should really help this offense who should be more focused after a few days off. Jeff Zatkoff is now the No. 1 goalie in L.A. with Jonathan Quick out indefinitely. I think the Kings offense gets going tonight on the road and pulls out a victory.
Pick: Kings +125