NBCSN Wednesday Night Preview

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Michael Finewax
·8 min read
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There are two games on the NBCSN schedule Wednesday as the Minnesota Wild will host the Vegas Golden Knights and the Los Angeles Kings visit the Anaheim Ducks in the late game.

Editor’s Note: The Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild face off Wednesday on NBCSN starting at 6:00 pm ET. Livestream all the action here.


These two teams met on Monday with Minnesota prevailing 2-0 as Wild goalkeeper Kaapo Kahkonen stopped all 26 shots. The Golden Knights were without their top two players, Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo due to injury and the duo missed practice on Tuesday as well so their status for Wednesday is questionable.

The Golden Knights have the best record in the West as they sit at 16-5-1 and plenty of that is due to the outstanding work of Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has bounced back from poor seasons before and this year is no exception. In 2016-17, after six straight seasons where his goals-against-average was never higher than 2.39, he had a 3.02 GAA for Pittsburgh and they decided to make him available for the expansion draft where Vegas gladly selected him. He became the face of the franchise as their first star and that continued until last season when he struggled again, and the Golden Knight decided to trade for and make Robin Lehner their starter, forcing Fleury to a backup role in the playoffs. But this season it is the Fleury of old, backstopping the Golden Knights and sending Lehner, when healthy, to the bench for the most part. Fleury is 12-4-0 with a microscopic 1.57 goals-against-average and a .943 save percentage as he is battling Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

The Golden Knights are led up front by the injured Stone when he is healthy, while Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch lead the team with 12 goals apiece. Their power play has been mediocre with only 12 goals in 22 games but Cody Glass has led the second unit with three goals and has replaced Stone on the first unit while he has been out.

Chandler Stephenson has been a pleasant surprise at center while the Golden Knights get toughness from fourth liners William Carrier and Ryan Reaves.

While Pietrangelo was the big off-season signing, it is Shea Theodore who leads the blueline offensively with three goals and 14 points to date. Dylan Coghlan will see some playing time as he replaces Pietrangelo in the lineup should the star defenseman be unable to go.

The Wild were a veteran team last season but it’s their youth that have allowed then to turn the corner this season and give them a bright future.

Minnesota is led by rookie sensation Kirill Kaprizov at forward. The Russian is having an outstanding season with six goals and 13 assists in 23 games. His 10 primary assists in five-on-five situations are tied with Nathan MacKinnon for top spot in the NHL and that is quite a compliment as to how good Kaprizov has been this season. He is a favorite for the Calder Trophy which goes to the best rookie, along with teammate Kahkonen and Chicago goaltender Kevin Lankinen, but it is Kaprizov who is getting all the publicity.

The Wild also have youngsters Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway as top-nine forwards, while veteran Mats Zuccarello has been a stud since returning from off-season arm surgery as he has four goals and 13 points in 12 games. Veteran Zach Parise, the face of the Wild for the last decade, has been relegated to a secondary role and was actually a healthy scratch last week for the first time in his Minnesota career.

The blueline has veteran Ryan Suter leading the way but even his role has been diminished as he is third among Wild defensemen in time-on-ice whereas he used to be top-three in the NHL in minutes played.

While goaltender Kahkonen has been a gem in net, going 10-4-0 with a 2.13 GAA and a .924 save percentage, it is veteran Cam Talbot who is expected to play Wednesday. Talbot is 4-4-1 with a 2.88 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out NBCSportsEdge Player News, and follow @NBCSEdge HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

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Probable Vegas Lineup

Max Pacioretty-Chandler Stephenson-Alex Tuch

Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith

Nicolas Roy-Cody Glass-Keegan Kolesar

William Carrier-Tomas Nosek-Ryan Reaves

Alec Martinez-Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague-Zach Whitecloud

Nick Holden-Dylan Coghlan

Marc-Andre Fleury

Oscar Dansk

Probable Minnesota Lineup

Kirill Kaprizov-Nick Bjugstad-Mats Zuccarello

Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno

Zach Parise-Victor Rask Kevin Fiala

Nico Sturm-Nick Bonino-Kyle Rau

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba

Ian Cole-Carson Soucy

Cam Talbot

Kaapo Kahkonen


Editor’s Note: The Anaheim Ducks host the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday on NBCSN starting at 9:30 pm ET. Livestream all the action here.

The Kings are hanging tough in the West as they are currently in sixth spot but only three points out of third.

While the Kings have the best prospects in the NHL, they are still getting by with their veterans as they are led by Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown.

Kopitar is having his best season and that’s a surprise as he is in his 33-year-old season. Kopitar has only six goals but does have 24 assists in 24 games, including a league-leading 16 helpers on the power play. Linemate Dustin Brown is also having a fine season with 13 goals including seven on the power-play, third best in the NHL. Adrian Kempe is also someone to keep an eye on as he had the hat trick Monday to give him nine goals this season.

On the blueline, Drew Doughty has been having a nice comeback season. He has six goals and 21 points and is a plus-one after being a combined minus-50 over the last two seasons. He went home during the pandemic and worked on his shot and that has paid dividends as he would be on a 20-goal pace in a full 82-game schedule whereas his previous best was 11 seasons ago when he had 16. He has two goals and seven points in his last seven games and has also been a power play giant this season with four goals and nine assists.

In net, Cal Petersen has been sharing the net with Jonathan Quick and it will be Petersen in goal Wednesday as Quick is out of action with an upper-body injury, unless he recovers quickly. It was not the best of nights Monday as the Kings played Anaheim as Petersen gave up six goals on only 25 shots in taking the overtime loss.

The Ducks had trouble scoring all season but that has changed the last two games as they have found the back of the net on 11 occasions. Anaheim was 0-12-6 when allowing their opposition as few as two goals in a game before the last two contests but that changed with the pair of wins.

Max Comtois has come into his own this season with nine goals and 19 points including a three-assist night Monday against the Kings. The 22-year-old is a top-15 player in the NHL during five-on-five play according to IPP (individual points percentage) and that is quite a feat.

Rickard Rakell has been picking up his pace after an awful offensive start to the season. He is on a six-game points streak with five goals and seven assists after starting the season with a goal and six assists in his first 20 games. He has moved to the top of the Ducks scoring race with Comtois.

The blueline is led by Cam Fowler who is third in team scoring with 13 points. Kevin Shattenkirk has two goals and four points in his last two games while the injured Hampus Lindholm has a pair of goals and four helpers.

John Gibson will likely get the start in goal for Anaheim and he has really struggled of late as he has not allowed less than three goals for nine games in a row, giving up 33 goals on 252 shots. He is 6-10-5 on the season with a 2.89 goals-against-average and a .900 save percentage.

Probable Los Angeles Lineup

Alex Iafallo -Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown

Andreas Athanasiou-Gabriel Vilardi-Jeff Carter

Trevor Moore-Blake Lizotte-Adrian Kempe

Carl Grundstrom-Rasmus Kupari-Matt Luff

Mikey Anderson-Drew Doughty

Kurtis MacDermid-Matt Roy

Olli Maatta- Sean Walker

Cal Petersen

Troy Grosenick

Probable Anaheim Lineup

Max Comtois-Ryan Getzlaf-Troy Terry

Trevor Zegras-Adam Henrique-Jakob Silfverberg

Max Jones-Isac Lundestrom-Rickard Rakell

Derek Grant-Sam Steel-Nicolas Deslauriers

Cam Fowler-Jani Hakanpaa

Ben Hutton-Kevin Shattenkirk

Josh Manson-Jacob Larsson

John Gibson

Ryan Miller