(Sports Network) - After receiving an offensive lift from an unlikely source in their last game, the Los Angeles Kings aim for a fifth victory in six games this evening when they continue a five-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
The Kings dropped the opener of their swing on Thursday in Phoenix, but rebounded to grab a 6-4 triumph in Colorado on Saturday. Brad Richardson posted the go-ahead goal while shorthanded with 6:56 left in the third period and later recorded his first career hat trick on an even-strength marker with under three minutes to play.
Richardson came into the game with just 30 career goals in 254 games, but notched a timely goal on Saturday. His game-winner came less than two minutes after Colorado evened the game with a power-play goal and came on a feed from Jarret Stoll, who kept a failed clearing attempt in the zone.
"Any time we shoot it down the ice, we've got to put the pressure on the net," Richardson said. "Stoll made a great pass to set it up."
The Avalanche were on the power play after Wayne Simmonds took a a five-minute major for butt ending as well as a 10-game misconduct. He could be subject to discipline by the NHL prior to this game after striking Colorado's T.J. Galiardi in the groin with the end of his stick.
Richardson, meanwhile, had just his second multi-goal game and first since Oct. 5, 2006.
Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Alexei Ponikarovsky also tallied for the Kings, who got 28 stops from Jonathan Quick.
Los Angeles was playing its second game without defenseman Drew Doughty because of an upper-body injury. He isn't expected to play in this game either.
The Wild will look to take advantage of that loss on the blue line after having a two-game win streak snapped on Friday by the Canucks. Minnesota's brief win streak included a victory over Vancouver last Tuesday, but the Canucks turned the tables in a 5-1 decision.
"We didn't execute the puck and we got the result we got," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said.
Antti Miettinen tallied the only goal for the Wild, who were without blueliner Cam Barker because of a groin injury. He is questionable for tonight's opener of a five-game homestand.
Niklas Backstrom started Minnesota's first six games, but was given a breather on Friday. Instead, Jose Theodore made his Wild debut and halted 30 shots.
Backstrom will likely get the start tonight and is 4-3-2 with a 2.46 goals- against average in his career when facing the Kings.
Quick, meanwhile, is 5-2-0 with a 2.56 GAA lifetime against the Wild.
These two clubs split four meetings last year, but the Kings have won six of the last eight matchups overall and three of the last four in Minnesota.