Up next on the docket for the LA Kings, the Minnesota Wild who were part of the Honda West Division in the shortened 2021 season.

The LA Kings and the Minnesota Wild meet for the first time in the 2021-22 season on Saturday night. The latter temporarily moved to the modified Honda West Division in the abbreviated 2021 schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were plenty of key takeaways from their eight meetings, including some bad blood that developed with Matt Roy being boarded by Kevin Fiala. Also, in that game, Sean Walker took a puck to the face from Matt Dumba, missing several games.

Of course, the major news over the summer for the Wild was Kirill Kaprizov staying with the club, despite reportedly having an enticing offer to return to the KHL.

One-Timers

  • Saturday will mark the Wild’s second game in two days in Southern California, having played the Ducks on Friday. Last year, the Kings went 2-3-3 against Minnesota, posting back-to-back 4-3 overtime losses to start the year.
  • The presumable starting goaltender in Jonathan Quick did not play particularly well against the Wild in 2021. The 36-year-old went 1-2-2 with a 3.16 GAA and .898 SV% in five contests. Look for him to bounce back.
  • Anze Kopitar, who tallied a hat-trick on Thursday, has played well against the Wild throughout his career. In 56 games, the LA Kings captain has 14 goals and 33 assists, including four goals on the powerplay.
  • Last year, the Minnesota Wild’s forechecking stood out to me, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Kings play against them, especially after Thursday’s offensive display.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

  • Saturday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. PT
  • TV: Bally Sports West, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Wisconsin, ESPN+
  • Radio: iHeartRadio

Tale of the Tape

*numbers from 2021 season

Powerplay
LA Kings: 18.9% (19th)
Wild: 17.6% (24th)

Penalty-Kill
LAK: 83.7% (7th)
Wild: 80.8% (12th)

Faceoffs
LAK: 50.6% (12th)
Wild: 46.5% (28th)

Goals Per Game
LAK: 2.54 (27th)
Wild: 3.21 (9th)

Goals Against Per Game
LAK: 2.18 (1st)
Wild: 2.84 (15th)

Top Scorer
LAK: Anze Kopitar – 13 goals, 37 assists, 50 points
Wild: Kirill Kaprizov – 27 goals, 24 assists, 51 points

Three takeaways from LA Kings’ 6-2 victory over Vegas in home opener

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