Final

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 8th
Wild3Final
Kings6
Game 2: Monday, December 28th
Wild4Final
Kings3
Game 3: Thursday, December 31st
Kings5Final
Wild2
Game 4: Monday, March 29th
Kings2Final
Wild3

Wild 4

(20-16-3, 43 pts)

Kings 3

(22-14-3, 47 pts)

10:30 PM ET, December 28, 2009

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

1 2 3 T
MIN 0 2 24
LA 0 1 23

E. Belanger (Wild - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

B. Richardson (Kings - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

A. Miettinen (Wild - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Wild-Kings Preview

STATS LLC

Just when the Los Angeles Kings started getting healthy again, the injury bug came back to bite them once more.

On Monday night, they'll try to withstand the loss of Justin Williams and continue their success against the Minnesota Wild.

The Kings (22-13-3) welcomed back forwards Ryan Smyth and Wayne Simmonds, but fell 3-2 at Phoenix on Saturday following an eight-day break to conclude a 1-3-0 road trip.

Los Angeles may have suffered an even bigger blow when Williams broke his right leg early in the first period. The Coyotes' Ed Jovanovski spun off a check from center Anze Kopitar to hit Williams and both players fell on him.

Williams -- one of six players on the club with at least 24 points -- fell backward with his leg trapped underneath his torso.

"When he was coming in front of the bench, on the stretcher, pulling his hair, he was hurting," coach Terry Murray told the Kings' official Web site of Williams. "He was hurting a lot."

Williams has twice torn knee ligaments, torn an Achilles tendon and has broken his hand and wrist in an injury-filled nine-year career.

Now, the Kings are going to need more from Kopitar, their top scorer with 16 goals and 39 points. Though he's had just two goals in the last 20 games, Kopitar has posted nine assists over that stretch, including one Saturday.

Kopitar has been a big part of Los Angeles' five-game winning streak against Minnesota (19-16-3), getting four goals and two assists. He had three points in a 6-3 win at Staples Center on Oct. 8.

The Kings have taken the last three home meetings with the Wild and are 10-4-2 in Los Angeles, winning five of the last six (5-0-1).

Minnesota is getting strong play from left wing Guillaume Latendresse, who has four goals in his last four games after scoring two in Saturday's 4-3 victory over St. Louis.

Acquired Nov. 23 from Montreal for Benoit Pouliot, Latendresse has six goals in 13 games for the Wild, who are 11-2-0 with the 22-year-old in the lineup.

He scored 46 goals in his first three seasons in Montreal, but found the net only twice in 23 games before the deal.

"I didn't have a lot of ice time. I was a third-line or fourth-line player playing maybe 10 minutes a game. I was averaging 15 goals a year," Latendresse said. "Here I get the opportunity to play with some great players. I get a lot of ice time, so I'm happy to have the opportunity to produce."

Niklas Backstrom will likely be in net after making 18 saves against the Blues to win for the sixth time in eight games, while posting a 1.87 goals-against average and a shutout.

He's 0-2-1 with a 3.10 GAA in his last four meetings with the Kings, getting pulled midway through the second period after allowing three goals on 13 shots in a 4-3 loss at Los Angeles on March 7.

Backup Josh Harding wasn't much better in the matchup earlier this season, surrendering six goals on 23 shots.

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