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Kings-Wild Preview

AP - Sports

Even with newcomer Jeff Carter in the mix, the Los Angeles Kings still can't find a way to consistency score goals.

Trying to move into playoff position, the Kings hope to find more production and bounce back from their latest loss Tuesday night when they visit the Minnesota Wild.

Los Angeles (28-23-12) made a big splash when it acquired the talented Carter from Columbus in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson last week. However, Carter has recorded six shots but no points in two games with his new team.

The Kings snapped a four-game skid with a 4-0 win over Chicago on Saturday in Carter's debut, but fell 2-1 at Nashville on Monday. Dustin Brown scored Monday's lone goal for the Kings, who have been held to one goal or shut out in eight of their last 12 games and have scored an NHL-low 134 goals on the season.

Los Angeles, 3-7-2 in its last 12, is 10th in Western Conference - two points behind Dallas and Colorado for the eighth and final playoff spot.

"We are a good team; we work hard," said Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who made 26 saves against the Predators. "They must have worked a little harder than we did (Monday).''

Los Angeles has scored seven goals while splitting two home games with Minnesota (28-25-9) this season, including a 5-2 win Nov. 12 that's tied for the Kings' highest scoring output of 2011-12. Carter, who had at least 30 goals in each of the previous three seasons with Philadelphia and 15 with 10 assists in 39 games for the Blue Jackets in 2011-12, has two goals and an assist in his last five games versus the Wild.

The Kings have dropped two of their last three visits to Minnesota - all decided by one goal. They fell 1-0 in a shootout in their last trip to St. Paul on Feb. 1, 2011. Brown, who has five goals and two assists in his last four contests overall, has two goals and three assists over his last five games in this series.

The Wild's Niklas Backstrom has posted a 1.27 goals-against average while winning two of the last three home meetings versus Los Angeles. He stopped 25 shots Sunday as Minnesota beat San Jose 4-3, its third win in four games following a six-game skid.

"The message before the game was forget standings, forget wins and losses even," said coach Mike Yeo, whose team is three points behind the Kings. "Let's get back to playing our game."

Minnesota could again have some new faces in the lineup when it takes the ice in this contest.

After acquiring defenseman Kurtis Foster, right wing Nick Palmieri and left wing Stephane Veilleux from New Jersey in exchange for defenseman Marek Zidlicky last week, Minnesota received second-year defenseman Steve Kampfer from Boston for veteran Greg Zanon prior to Monday's trade deadline. Earlier in the day, the Wild acquired Minneapolis native Tom Gilbert from Edmonton for Nick Schultz, who scored his first goal of the season Sunday and was the Wild's franchise leader with 743 games played.

The Wild have used an NHL-most and franchise-record 42 players this season, nearly double the active roster limit.

Minnesota center Matt Cullen has three goals in his last four games.

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