Last night was full of disappointment for the Canucks, but the compressed schedule means it’s a fresh sheet of ice tonight in Los Angeles. There lie the Kings, who eliminated the Canucks last year. LA is struggling, having finally picked their first win on Saturday.
Matchup: Vancouver Canucks (2-2-1) v Los Angeles Kings (1-2-1)
Venue: Staples Center
Time: 7:30 pm
TV/Radio: TSN, Team 1040
It’s been a long time since the Kings shocked the Canucks in the playoffs, but the bad blood will still be there. Both teams are struggling out of the gate, so you can mix in a bit of desperation with the hostility. If you thought the Sharks game was rough and physical, tonight could top that.
Don’t forget the Blackhawks are in town on Friday. Bloodbaths abound.
What to Watch: Los Angeles
Former Canuck Willie Mitchell will sit out. He’s recovering from knee surgery but is practicing with the team. Matt Greene while also not play, having back surgery on Thursday.
The Kings leading scorer is shockingly Kyle Clifford, which says a bit about Clifford and a bit about how LA’s best players aren’t their best players right now. (Sound familiar?)
Anze Kopitar’s two goals on Saturday were his first pair of the season.
Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter
Dwight King-Jarret Stoll-Trevor Lewis
Simon Gagne-Colin Fraser-Jordan Nolan
Rob Scuderi-Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez-Slava Voynov
Davis Drewiske-Jake Muzzin
Roberto Luongo has lost 4 of his last 6 regular-season starts in Los Angeles
What to Watch: Vancouver
The Canucks didn’t necessarily look bad last night, and the Sharks are off to an amazing start, but there a lot of problems that can be taken away from that game. The Sedins weren’t the Sedins, a big problem with no Ryan Kesler or David Booth.
A power play goal or two could have made a big difference in the game.
The return of Manny Malhotra should also help with face-offs, where the Canucks were absolutely brutal last night.
Should be interesting to see how Jordan Schroeder responds in his first rivalry game.
Roberto Luongo will probably get the start against the team that forced him out of the starting job in Vancouver.
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Zack Kassian
Chris Higgins – Alex Burrows - Jannik Hansen
Mason Raymond – Jordan Schroeder – Dale Weise
Aaron Volpatti – Manny Malhotra – Maxim Lapierre
Dan Hamhuis – Kevin Bieksa
Jason Garrison – Alex Edler
Keith Ballard – Chris Tanev
Roberto Luongo has lost 4 of his last 6 regular-season starts in Los Angeles with a 3.68 GAA. Cory Schneider has started the last three games, making 30 saves in Friday’s 5-0 win at Anaheim to open this trip.
The Canucks went 0 for 7 on the power play after converting 6 of 22 opportunities over the first four games. They are 16th in the NHL. Their PK is 28th. The Canucks have given up 4-or-more goals in 2 of 5 games this season.
Last time, they won just 3 of 16 games where they allowed 4-or-more goals against (3-13-0).
For the Canucks
F Ryan Kesler (shoulder/wrist surgery) and F David Booth (strained groin) are on the injured reserve list.
For the Kings
D Matt Greene (back) and D Willie Mitchell (knee) are on the injured reserve list.
The Kings play heartbreaker, with a tight 2-1 win that feels a lot like last spring. Zack Kassian and Dustin Brown square off.
Canucks.com Preview – http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=652915&navid=DL|VAN|home
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