9 p.m. at Los Angeles • FSN, 100.3-FM
Four-game California swing starts season
Preview: The Wild opens its season in the temporarily realigned West Division with a trip to Staples Center to meet the Kings for the first of two meetings in three days. They play again Saturday night in L.A. before moving to Anaheim for a Monday-Wednesday series. This will be the first of eight games against the Kings in a 56-game season that will feature only intradivision play. … The Kings won two of three meetings against the Wild last season. … The Kings were 30th in the NHL in goals scored with 178 last season, only ahead of the Red Wings' 145. Los Angeles didn't qualify for the playoffs but did end the season on a seven-game win streak.
Players to watch: Kevin Fiala, above, broke through with 23 goals and 31 assists in 64 games last season, and the Wild will count on continued improvement from the Swiss standout. … For the Kings, Stanley Cup-winning veterans Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick remain, but the team is the midst of a rebuilding job under GM Rob Blake. Prospects Arthur Kaliyev and Quinton Byfield will start the season in Ontario of the AHL.
Numbers: D Ryan Suter leads the Wild with 25 points (1-24-25) in 49 games against L.A. … Kopitar (13-26-39) leads the Kings in points against Minnesota.
Injuries: Wild F Mats Zuccarello (arm) and G Alex Stalock (upper body) are out. … Kings F Martin Frk (lower body), C Alex Turcotte (lower body) and G Calvin Petersen (undisclosed) are on injured reserve. G Matt Villalta (undisclosed) is day to day.