Los Angeles (30-27-4) at Minnesota (39-14-6)
When: Monday, February 27th 2017
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports Network
The Minnesota Wild return from their bye week to conclude an eight-game homestand when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. Minnesota, which is 4-2-1 on the homestand, trails Washington by five points for the top spot in the NHL despite recording its last victory back on February 18th. Mikael Granlund has recorded a career-high 55 points to lead the Wild, who enter the week just one point ahead of Chicago in the Central Division after the Blackhawks in over St. Louis last night. Granlund, who is tied with Nino Niederreiter for the team lead in goals with 19, will be playing in his 300th NHL game on Monday. Grandlund has a point in five of his last six games, collecting four goals and three assists in that span. Charlie Coyle, who has gone four games without a point, has a career-high 30 assists this season and needs one more to reach 100 for his career. The Wild entered their bye week with a 5-3 loss to second place Chicago and will go on the road for two games (Winnipeg, Columbus) before returning home.
The Kings made a move yesterday to solidify their depth in goal with the acquisition of Ben Bishop from Tampa Bay in exchange for Peter Budaj, a prospect, and draft picks. The Kings welcomed back Jonathan Quick to the lineup on Saturday from a groin injury the goaltender suffered in the season opener. Los Angeles is not happy with the recent play of Budaj after a solid start to the season. Quick made 32 saves and Tyler Toffoli recorded his second two-goal performance of the season to help give head coach Darryl Sutter his 216th victory with Los Angeles, which moved him past Andy Murray for the franchise lead. Jeff Carter scored for the first time in six games in the win over the Ducks to reach the 30-goal plateau for the fourth time in his career and first since 2010-11 with Philadelphia. Former captain Dustin Brown scored against the Ducks on Saturday to end his four-game drought and close within two of 500 points. Jordan Nolan returned to the lineup versus Anaheim after missing nine games with a pulled muscle and saw 6 minutes, 36 seconds of ice time on 10 shifts. Monday’s game in Saint Paul begins a two-day, two-game road trip for Los Angeles before it starts a seven-game homestand on Thursday.
I’m going to stick with the trend of going against teams coming off their bye week, just like we did last night with the Blues. Quick should get the start tonight and the Kings will be able to slow down what could be a rusty Wild unit. Take the road dog here tonight.
Pick: Kings +135
HEAD TO HEAD
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