Oct 3, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT
The Minnesota Wild host the Los Angeles Kings tonight on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET). Here are some game notes, as compiled by our crack research staff.
• In their 13th NHL season, the Minnesota Wild have never lost their home opener at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Since skating to a 3-3 tie vs. Philadelphia in their inaugural season (Oct. 11, 2000), the Wild are 11-0-0 in home openers.
• The Los Angeles Kings begin their 47th season on the road after dropping 15 of their final 16 away games of the 2013 season – the last six of the regular season, followed by 10 of 11 in the playoffs, capped by their double-OT Game 5 ouster at Chicago in the Western Conference Final. Including the playoffs, the Kings were 9-22-4 away from Staples Center.
• Anze Kopitar has led the Kings in scoring six consecutive seasons (2007-08 to 2012-13). Only Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne had a longer streak of leading the Kings in scoring (8 seasons, 1975-76 to 1982-83). Wayne Gretzky (7 times) and Luc Robitaille (6) are the only other players in franchise history to lead the team in points more than twice, but neither of them matched Kopitar’s streak.
• Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has appeared in the second-most games (239) between the pipes (Henrik Lundqvist, 246). The Connecticut native and odds-on favorite to tend Team USA’s net at the Sochi Olympics in February needs 23 wins to pass Rogie Vachon (171) for #1 on the franchise all-time list.
• In 2011-12, the Kings (2.29) and Wild (2.02) finished 29th and 30th in the NHL in goals per game, respectively. Last season, both of the teams improved by exactly 0.44 goals per game, as the Kings (2.73) improved to 10th in the league and the Wild (2.46) finished 22nd.
• 4 of the past 6 meetings between the Kings and Wild at Xcel Energy Center have gone to a shootout.
• The Kings have played 38 playoff games in the last two years, most in the NHL.
38 – Los Angeles
32 – N.Y. Rangers
29 – Chicago
29 – Boston
21 – Pittsburgh
19 – Detroit
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