The best way to get past a tough loss is to forget about it and move on. The Minnesota Wild will try to do just that as they take on the Los Angeles Kings in the 2nd game of their 7th set of back to backs this season. A slow start cost the Wild as they fell to San Jose 4-2 last night, but today is a new day with a new challenge. This will be the second game against the Kings in 5 days. The Wild took the win in St. Paul last Saturday in a shoot out 4-3. The Wild will have newly acquired Jason Pominville in the lineup tonight. He will be wearing number 29. Pominville has 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points this season as Captain of the Buffalo Sabres. He will be playing on the top line with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. That would move rookie Charlie Coyle down but make the #1 line one of the best in the NHL. Heading into tonight’s action that line will have accumulated 34 goals and 55 assists for 89 points total this season. Pominville brings the ability to play in all situations including spearheading the power play and penalty kill time. Minnesota has also called up Mikael Granlund to fill in on the forward lines. Dany Heatley will be unavailable after taking a two handed chop across the arm and being slammed to the ice by Marc-Edouard Vlasic in a scrum at the end of last night’s game. Heatley left the ice cradling his arm in obvious pain. He is out for tonight and into the future. Vlasic had a hearing this afternoon with the NHL Department Of Player Safety and was fined $8378.00, the maximum fine allowed under the new CBA. The lines for tonight will look different once again with the addition of Pominville and Granlund, the loss of Heatley and return of Nate Prosser to his defensive duties. For the second time Prosser was pressed into service as a forward on the 4th line. That’s what happens when the AHL’er call up to fill a spot gets traded before the end of the morning skate. Niklas Backstrom may get another start in net tonight unless Coach Yeo wants to rest him before the team plays Columbus on Sunday. The Kings will be going with net minder Jamie Quick and his 12-11-3 season record.
The Kings come into tonight’s action on after losing 2 of their last three games including Saturday to the Wild and Tuesday to Phoenix. L.A. is currently 3rd in the Pacific Division and holds 6th in the Western Conference 3 spots back of Northwest Division leading Minnesota. I’ll repeat once again what Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo, Zach Parise, and other have said; We have to get off to a quick start tonight and be ready to play the games the right way. Slow starts have cost the Wild their last two games and only losses and inactivity by the Vancouver Canucks has kept the Wild where they are in the division and the conference. The Kings are a good home team posting a 12-4-1 mark on home ice. The Wild are sub .500 on the road at 8-9-1 but have shown they can beat this L.A. squad. This is another late night affair for Wild fans with puck drop at 9:30 pm Central Time. Have an extra cup of coffee and get ready for an angry Wild team to take it to the Kings tonight. GonePuckWild.com will be back after the game with analysis and a full recap of all the action. Until then this is Scott Drain shouting, “LET’S GO WILD!!”