Oct 3, 2013, 11:10 AM EST
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
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang 46
- Isles’ rise to be tested as they lose Okposo for 6-8 weeks 16
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards 123
- Bobrovsky out 4-6 weeks, Jackets recall goalie Forsberg 3
- Blue Jackets proud as Columbus shows it’s a hockey town 24
- From contract dispute to All-Star MVP, Johansen’s had quite the year 17
- Marc-Andre Fleury would like to remind the Columbus crowd that the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets in the playoffs 33
- Cannonball Run…and gun: Team Toews wins highest-scoring game in ASG history 27
- Supercut: Every goal from the highest-scoring period in All-Star Game history 7
- Video: Team Foligno survives shootout, wins Skills Competition 4
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards (123)
- Flyers’ Rinaldo: ‘I changed the whole game, man’ (112)
- Video: Rinaldo tossed for boarding Letang (79)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (61)