Wild-Kings Preview

After opening the season in stellar fashion, Los Angeles Kings

goaltender Jonathan Quick has matched the longest losing streak of

his career.

It hasn’t entirely been his fault, however.

Playing behind a sputtering offense, Quick could be in net

Saturday night for the Kings when they host a Minnesota Wild team

trying to bounce back from its first loss in two weeks.

Quick was instrumental to Los Angeles’ brilliant start to

2010-11, compiling a 6-0-1 record with a 1.12 goals-against average

and an NHL-best three shutouts through Oct. 27. He hasn’t won in

six starts since, however, posting a 2.95 GAA while going

0-4-2.

It seems likely Quick, who also lost six consecutive decisions

from March 25-April 10, 2010, will be back in goal Saturday despite

his skid. He just got a night off Tuesday – a 4-3 win over

Nashville – to snap his string of six straight starts for the

Kings.

Quick, 6-2-1 with a 2.51 GAA lifetime against Minnesota (8-4-3),

was back in net Thursday, stopping 29 shots in a 3-2 loss to

Vancouver. Two of the goals he allowed, though, came when the Kings

were a man down as they let the opposition have six power plays for

a fourth straight game.

Los Angeles (7-6-3) got off to an awful start against the

Canucks, falling behind 3-0 in the first period as they were

outshot 12-3. Drew Doughty scored in the second period, but the

Kings didn’t get another goal until Mike Richards knocked in the

puck with 1:10 to play with Quick on the bench for an extra

attacker.

Offensive woes like that have been an ongoing problem for Los

Angeles, which has been held to two goals or fewer in nine of 11

games.

Dustin Penner has no goals through 14 games after scoring 23

last season, while captain Dustin Brown and Justin Williams each

has gone seven straight games without one.

“We should be scoring more, especially myself right on top of

the list,” said Williams, who had 22 goals last season. “We need to

find ways when we’re down in games to come back. We need a comeback

win, just for our psyche and our confidence to know that we can

come back.”

It could be tough for the Kings, who went 2-0-2 against

Minnesota last season, to get their offense on track if the Wild go

with Josh Harding in goal.

Harding has a 0.75 GAA with a shutout in winning his last four

starts, but he’s backed up Niklas Backstrom in Minnesota’s last two

games.

Backstrom stopped 41 shots in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Calgary,

extending the Wild’s winning streak to five games, before turning

aside 33 shots in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to San Jose. It was

Minnesota’s first defeat since Oct. 27.

Kyle Brodziak scored Thursday’s lone goal for the Wild, who had

killed 23 consecutive short-handed situations before allowing two

goals in two power plays in the second period.

“They scored two power-play goals, and that was the difference,”

Backstrom said. “We played OK but I know we can play a lot better.

We have to learn from that and move on.”

Backstrom was 1-1-1 with a 1.59 GAA and a shutout against the

Kings last season.

Minnesota’s Devin Setoguchi, who has four goals and four

assists, had three goals and an assist in six games against the

Kings in 2010-11 with San Jose.

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles’ leader with eight goals, had two

goals and four assists against the Wild last season.