The Los Angeles Kings have won four of five games, but they may have to continue the pace without two of their young stars.
Wayne Simmonds is awaiting discipline from the NHL and Drew Doughty will miss his third straight game with an upper-body injury Monday when the Kings visit Minnesota.
Doughty is hopeful to return Wednesday against Chicago, but Simmonds' status is uncertain. The third-year winger intentionally hit Colorado defenseman T.J. Galiardi in the groin area with the end of his stick in Saturday night's 6-4 win against the Avalanche. Simmonds received a five-minute major penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct. The NHL is reviewing the play to determine a suspension.
Brad Richardson helped Los Angeles (5-2-0) escape with a victory after the Kings blew leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 by netting his first career hat trick against his former team. Richardson's second goal broke a 4-all tie, scoring short-handed while Los Angeles killed Simmonds' major.
"It does feel good to get (a hat trick) against your old team," said Richardson, acquired by the Kings in June 2008. "No hard feelings. It was great to play here. I loved being here, but it does feel sweeter."
"Gameplan wise, it certainly wasn't a perfect game for us," Rob Scuderi told the Kings' official site. "Sometimes that's going to happen and you've got to find a way to win a game."
Twelve players recorded a point for the Kings.
Minnesota (3-3-1) will play its third game in five days and split back-to-back road contests Friday and Saturday. The Wild defeated Edmonton 4-2, then fell to Vancouver 5-1 -- their first loss by more than one goal.
Minnesota has converted an NHL-best 38.7 percent of its power plays. However, the Wild went 0 for 4 with the man advantage against the Canucks and failed to convert on a 5-on-3 early in the second period. The Wild also are 29th with only nine even-strength goals.
Jose Theodore, who the Wild signed Oct. 1 to replace injured backup Josh Harding, made his first start Saturday and stopped 35 shots. It was Theodore's first regulation loss since Jan. 12 while playing with Washington.
"Theodore played well, he gave us a chance to get a point or earn a win here and that's all you can ask of your goalie," coach Todd Richards said. "And then your goalie plays great for you all game and you make some poor decisions coming down the stretch and leave him hanging out to dry."
Antti Miettinen scored the only goal for the Wild, who gave up at least five goals for the first time since March. Leading scorer Matt Cullen was held without a point for the first time in five games.
Niklas Backstrom is expected to start and is 4-3-2 with a 2.46 goals-against average in his career against Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick likely will get the start for the Kings and has a 5-2-0 lifetime record against the Wild.
Los Angeles has won three of four meetings in Minnesota.