Monday, March 9, 2009

Canucks/Kings Game Day

The Canucks (34-22-8) open up a two-game California road trip tonight against the Los Angeles Kings (28-28-9). These two teams met October 30 at the Staples Center with the Canucks winning 4-0. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves in a 1st star performance while Daniel Sedin, Mason Raymond, Kyle Wellwood, and Taylor Pyatt had Vancouver's goals against Kings netminder Jason LaBarbera.

The Canucks are on their fourth four-game winning streak of the season. The last time Vancouver won five in a row came March 1-9, 2007. Luongo has allowed five goals against in the last four Canucks wins. Since the beginning of February, Luongo is 12-2-1.

Ryan Kesler enters tonight's game with points in four straight (1g,4a). He had two assists in a 1st star effort in Vancouver's 3-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Mats Sundin snapped a 10-game goal-less drought against the Sharks and now has points in three straight (1g,3a). In the last nine games, 30 points has been produced by the line of Daniel Sedin (2g,7a), Henrik Sedin (2g,9a), and Alex Burrows (5g,5a).

The Kings are coming off back-to-back home ice wins against the Minnesota Wild (4-3) and Dallas Stars (5-4 OT). Just five points out of a playoff spot, they have allowed the most goals against on home ice in the Western Conference (105). They have also been on the power play 296 times this season, the second-highest total in the NHL.

Los Angeles is being led in scoring by Anze Kopitar (24g,34a). He is currently riding a career-high four-game goal streak (4g,3a) and when he scores a goal this season, the Kings are 15-3-2.

19 year-old defenceman Drew Doughty leads all Kings players in average ice time (23:52). He was the 2nd overall pick in last summer's draft and leads all NHL rookie defencemen in points (4g,17a). Fellow rookie Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start in goal tonight. He's started 18 of the last 21 games and has 15 wins in his first NHL season.

Here are the expected line-ups for both clubs tonight:


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Burrows
Demitra - Sundin - Kesler
Pyatt - Wellwood - Bernier
Hordichuk - Johnson - Raymond

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Ted Purcell
Alexander Frolov - Jarrett Stoll - Peter Harrold
Michal Handzus - Oscar Moller - Wayne Simmonds
Kyle Calder - Derek Armstrong - Kevin Westgarth

Sean O'Donnell - Drew Doughty
Kyle Quincey - Matt Greene
Jack Johnson - Denis Gauthier

Jonathan Quick
Erik Ersberg

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