Manor Projected Lineups: LA Kings vs. Minnesota Wild; Let’s Get Funky

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Uncertainty is often an uncomfortable concept. With just two games remaining on the regular season schedule, the Kings still don’t know who they’ll be matching up against in the first round. While all signs point to the Oilers, it’s not quite official just yet. Vegas still has an opportunity to overtake the Kings and push LA into a series vs. Dallas instead.

About the only thing coach Jim Hiller knows for sure is that his club controls their own destiny. And a win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday would go a long way to providing some clarity.

The Kings will skate into Crypto.com Arena tonight riding an eight-game home winning streak, dating back to March 11, 2024. It is the longest such run since the 2010-11 campaign where they went 8-0-0 from Oct. 12 to Nov. 13, 2010. Should Hiller’s club secure a win tonight, it would mark the third different home winning streak of at least nine games in franchise history.

Another storyline that could affect the outcome of these final two games is load management. On Saturday, Kopitar was ultimately held out of the game — after Hiller was non-committal about it at morning skate earlier that day. LA’s captain did take to the ice this morning, yet Hiller now says that Kopitar is dealing with a nagging issue. The player himself had previously indicated he didn’t mind getting some extra rest over the final week of the season, but also wanted to balance that against keeping his rhythm going. With that in mind, we’ll have to see what tonight brings. Either way, Kopitar is expected to be in the lineup for Game 83 on Saturday.

Should No. 11 draw back in tonight, it is certainly possible that another player — likely Phil Danault, Kevin Fiala, or Adrian Kempe — could be given the game off.

As noted late last week, we’re expecting tonight to also serve as Cam Talbot’s final regular season start.

In other news, Carl Grundstrom is in the midst of an LTIR Conditioning Assignment with AHL Ontario. A final decision on his return date to NHL action is still TBD. Yet, he is expected to be ready for the first round of postseason play.

Statistically Speaking


— Pierre-Luc Dubois enters tonight’s contest with 10 career points (6G, 4A) against Minnesota, including a pair of tallies during the Kings’ 7-3 victory against the Wild on Oct. 19. With a power-play tally on Saturday night against the Ducks, Dubois hit the 40-point plateau for the sixth time in his career, becoming the sixth skater from the 2016 NHL Draft class to do so as many times. Dubois also surpassed Buffalo’s Tage Thompson for fifth-most power-play goals among all skaters selected in the 2016 NHL Draft.

— The Kings aim to sweep the season series against the Wild for the third time in franchise history (4-0-0 in 2008-09; 3-0-0 in 2017-18).

— As a team, the Kings enter tonight ranking third in goals against this season (203) trailing the Jets (193) and Panthers (196). LA has finished a season among the top three in goals against at season’s end five times in franchise history: 2017-18 (1st), 2015-16 (3rd), 2013-14 (1st), 2011-12 (2nd) and 1974-75 (2nd).

— Defenseman Jordan Spence is set to skate in his 100th career game tonight. By doing so, Spence will become the sixth defenseman, and 26th skater overall, from the 2019 NHL Draft class to accomplish such feat. Spence will also become the 24th different defenseman in franchise history to hit the 100-game mark at 23 years of age or younger.

— With only two games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Kings enter tonight’s contest with the best home-ice penalty killing percentage (PK%) in the NHL and the best overall PK% in the Western Conference. The team has allowed just 14 power-play goals on home ice this season and have conceded 23 power-play goals over their last 145 shorthanded situations, dating back to Jan. 1, 2024, and a conference-low 37 power-play goals in 249 shorthanded situations overall this season.

Kings Projected Lineup vs. Wild


Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Fiala – Dubois – Lewis
Thomas – Lizotte – Laferriere

NOTE: One of these forwards will likely sit out, causing a line shuffle, see context above.

Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence

Rittich (starter)
Talbot

Possible scratches: Kaliyev, Moverare

LTIR: Copley (out for the year), Grundstrom (assigned to AHL for conditioning), Turcotte (min. April 12, assigned to AHL for conditioning)

Key Game Info


Puck drop is set for 6:30 pm Pacific Time and will be televised by Bally Sports.

For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Phil Danault for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table outside sections 317-318 on the upper concourse for more information.

LA Royal Army, another fan support group, has a booth outside section 303. They do watch parties and other fun activities. Stop by and check them out.

Across the Ice


Minnesota is coming off a 6-2 victory over San Jose on Saturday.

Here’s how they lined up for that one:

Kaprizov – Eriksson Ek – Boldy
Johansson – Rossi – Hartman
Ohgren – Khusnutdinov – Lettieri
Shaw – Lucchini

Middleton – Faber
Brodin – Bogosian
Merrill – Chisholm
Goligoski

Wallstedt

In their last 10 games, the Wild are 4-5-1. As the away team, they’re 18-18-4 this season.

On This Day in Kings History

On April 15, 2006, @LAKings legend Luc Robitaille played in his last home game at STAPLES Center. In 540 home games, Robitaille set franchise records for most even-strength goals (322), power play goals (130), and game-winning goals (43) on home ice.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/eLn2FgOlbb

— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) April 15, 2024


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