NHL Hockey

Wild eager to maintain positioning among NHL's best vs. Kings

The Minnesota Wild can match their second-longest winning streak in franchise history when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

The Wild have won eight consecutive games to grab the most points in the Western Conference (39) heading into the weekend. The longest winning streak in franchise history is 12 in a row from Dec. 4-29, 2016. Minnesota also won nine straight during the 2006-07 season.

"We want to be the top team," Jordan Greenway said. "We want to stay on top. In order for us to do that, we have to continue to do the things that got us here."

The Wild are getting contributions from a variety of sources.

Greenway scored two goals in a 5-2 win at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night, doubling his goal total on the season.

Kirill Kaprizov scored his 10th goal of the season, becoming the fourth member of the Wild to reach double figures.

Defensively, Minnesota has limited the opposition to two goals or fewer in seven of the past eight games.

"We're happy that the guys keep doing the right things," Wild coach Dean Evason said. "You could go the other way sometimes, and we're not. We're staying the course."

The Wild started the season on a positive note by winning their first four games, including a 3-2 victory in Los Angeles on Oct. 16.

That win seemed to carry over from last season, when the Wild went 6-2-0 against the Kings.

Los Angeles is coming off one of its best games of the season, getting 27 saves from Jonathan Quick and goals from four different players in a 4-0 win against the visiting Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

"That was an "A" game," Kings coach Todd McLellan said.

Cal Petersen has been alternating starts with Quick for most of the season and it would be his turn to start against the Wild.

Petersen has made four career starts against Minnesota and is 2-1-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

Andreas Athanasiou returned for the Kings on Thursday after missing six games while in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol and scored a goal.

Adrian Kempe also scored to give him a team-leading 11 goals on the season, the lone Los Angeles player in double figures.

The Kings also got a much-needed goal from Arthur Kaliyev, whom McLellan hopes will continue to be more assertive in the offensive end.

"He's been blessed with an unreal shot and he needs to use it every chance he gets," McLellan said.

Kaprizov has been a nuisance against the Kings in his first two years in the NHL, owning 10 points (six goals, four assists) in nine games.

The hottest player for the Wild lately has been Joel Eriksson Ek.

He has two goals and four assists in a three-game point streak. He has three consecutive multi-point games for the first time in his NHL career.

Eriksson Ek has been especially dangerous on the power play, scoring six of his 11 goals with the man-advantage.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 11, 2021

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