Kings bring high-octane offense into meeting with Wild

The Los Angeles Kings will try to continue their high-scoring, four-game winning streak when they visit the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in Saint Paul, Minn.

The Kings are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and are in the midst of their third four-game winning streak of the season. Los Angeles has scored at least five goals in each of its last four games, its longest five-goal streak since the 1992-93 season.

However, the team needed every bit of that offense in Saturday’s 6-5 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Los Angeles held a 5-1 lead after the first period, yet was forced into overtime after the Coyotes scored the game’s next four regulation goals.

“Just goes to show that we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said of the blown the lead.

“This lead tonight happened fast. It happened, bang, bang, bang, one after another. And then from that point on, we got extremely casual. I’m not sure how we replicate that in practice. It has to come from within the locker room, and it didn’t.”

Arizona’s comeback spoiled what had been a solid performance from Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who ended up allowing five goals on 32 shots. The struggling veteran has been losing playing time to Pheonix Copley, and Copley figures to be back in net against Minnesota.

Anze Kopitar and Kevin Fiala have been leading the Kings’ offensive surge. Kopitar has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last five games, while Fiala has tallied three points in each of the Kings’ last two games.

Tuesday’s game will pit the dominant Los Angeles power play against the Wild’s equally red-hot penalty-kill unit. The Kings are 9-for-18 with the extra attacker in their last five games, while Minnesota has killed off all 18 penalties faced in its last seven games.

The Wild are coming off a nervous finish of their own in Sunday’s 4-3 home win over the Nashville Predators. Minnesota allowed two Nashville goals in the last five minutes to surrender a late 3-1 lead, but Ryan Hartman’s goal off a deflection put the Wild ahead with just 21 seconds remaining in regulation.

Minnesota is 3-1-1 in its last five games, with three of those games decided by shootout.

“It’s a huge relief that we don’t have to play overtime again,” joked Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson.

Gustavsson also noted the value of a regulation win against a divisional opponent.

“Giving them one point is always one point too many, so being able to steal that last point there is huge for us,” he said.

Gustavsson stopped 23 of 26 shots against the Predators and will likely start again on Tuesday.

Wild forward Mats Zuccarello has six points (one goal, five assists) during a five-game point streak.

Kirill Kaprizov leads the Wild with 33 goals, including six tallies in his last eight games.

The Kings are out for the sweep of the season series after winning their first two games against the Wild. In two extremely different types of games, the Kings recorded a 7-6 win in Saint Paul on Oct. 15 before a narrow 1-0 shutout in Los Angeles on Nov. 8.

–Field Level Media