Thursday, April 9, 2009

Canucks/Kings Game Day

The Canucks (43-27-10) play their final home game of the regular season tonight against the Los Angeles Kings (33-36-11). The Canucks are 2-1-0 in their three previous meetings with the Kings. Henrik Sedin (2g,3a), Daniel Sedin (1g,3a), Taylor Pyatt (2g,1a), and Sami Salo (3a) lead the Canucks in head-to-head scoring while Jarret Stoll (2g,1a), Alexander Frolov (1g,1a), Anze Kopitar (1g,1a), and Teddy Purcell (2a) lead the Kings.

With two games remaining, the Canucks enter the night tied with the Calgary Flames (96 pts.). Roberto Luongo's 46-save performance in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames was not his highest single game save total as a Canuck. That occured last season when he stopped 49 of 51 shots in a 3-2 shoot-out win over the Nashville Predators.

Mattias Ohlund's two-goal effort against the Flames snapped a 25-game personal goal-scoring drought. Other Canucks d-men who have gone lengthy stretches without scoring include Kevin Bieksa (16), Sami Salo (18), Willie Mitchell (37), and Shane O'Brien (136).

Prior to the start of tonight's game, the Canucks year-end awards will be presented. Hardware will be handed out for Team MVP, Top Defenceman, Most Exciting Player, and Unsung Hero.

Despite being a non-playoff team for the sixth straight season, the Kings are winding down one which has been one of their best in recent years. Tonight is their final road game and they are 8-8-3 against Northwest Division opponents this season. Rookie d-man Drew Doughty is likely to be a Calder Trophy candiate, leading all Kings and NHL rookies in average ice time (23:53). He also leads all NHL rookie defencemen in scoring (6g,21a).

Here are the expected line-ups for both teams heading into tonight's game:


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

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Alexander Frolov - Anze Kopitar - Justin WIlliams
Dustin Brown - Michal Handzus - Wayne Simmonds
Kyle Calder - Brian Boyle - Teddy Purcell
Raitis Ivanans - Peter Harrold - John Zeiler

Davis Drewskie - Drew Doughty
Sean O'Donnell - Jack Johnson
Denis Gauthier - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Erik Ersberg

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