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The Vancouver Canucks take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight for the first matchup of the season between division rivals.
The Canucks are coming off an emotional win in San Jose while the Kings shutout the Sabres on Thursday, setting the stage for two confident teams to go at it tonight on Hockey Night In Canada.
Below are five keys to tonight’s game between the Canucks and Kings.
Carry It Over
The Canucks iced one of their best games of the season on Thursday and will need to bring a similar effort tonight in act two of their California adventure.
A bad bounce and some bad defence lead to goals for the Sharks on Thursday but with a clean slate the Canucks are expected to provide a much tougher test for the Kings after their comfortable 2-0 win over the Sabres.
Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler were all held without a point during Thursday’s game against the Sharks and will be looking for an opportunity to bounce back tonight in Los Angeles.
Look for the twins to find the score sheet once again tonight.
The line combined for 11 shots on goal in San Jose and has been dominant since John Tortorella decided to unite his top talent.
Look for Beastmodo to find the score sheet tonight.
Kopitar Killing It
After a slow start Anze Kopitar has begun to pick up his play lately, putting together a three-game scoring streak heading into tonight’s action.
Kopitar has five points over his last three games and deserves special attention from Roberto Luongo and the Canucks tonight.
Penalty Kill Problems
The Kings are having one hell of a time killing penalties lately. Los Angeles has allowed 6 goals on 24 opportunities over their last six games but will be happy to see Vancouver’s 27th ranked power play come to town tonight.
The Canucks need to get back to basics and take advantage of a struggling Kings penalty kill unit tonight at the Staples Center.
Power On Power
The Canucks have the NHL’s second best penalty kill unit coming into tonight’s game, but John Tortorella’s shot blockers will have a tough test tonight against the red hot Kings. LA has scored six power play goals over their last four games, including two goals each for Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar.
The Canucks would be best to play with discipline rather than tempt a clicking Kings power play tonight.
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