The Vancouver Canucks (34-32-11) take on the Los Angeles Kings (45-27-6) tonight at Rogers Arena.
It’s the fifth and final meeting of the season between these two Pacific Division rivals with the Kings winning the first four contests including a 3-2 overtime victory in their only other visit to town on November 25th. The only time the Kings have swept a season series from the Canucks was 1980-81 when they won all four meetings.
The Canucks return to action following a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Ryan Kesler scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season in the setback.
Captain Henrik Sedin is expected to return to the line-up after missing four games with a knee injury. If Henrik plays, it will mark the first time since the Heritage Classic on March 2nd -- and just the sixth time since December 1st -- the Canucks have had Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows in the line-up together.
For the second weekend in a row, defenseman Frank Corrado has been recalled from AHL Utica. He scored a goal in the Comets 5-1 home win over Toronto last night. It appears he’ll take Yannick Weber’s spot in the line-up.
Eddie Lack will make his 18th straight start since the Olympic break.
The last time the Canucks faced the Kings on January 13th, Tom Sestito picked up 27 minutes in penalties in one second of ice time.
The Kings are here after a 2-1 loss in San Jose on Thursday night. That snapped a franchise record tying eight game road win streak. It was the Kings first road loss since January 28th in Phoenix. Drew Doughty left the game in the first period with an apparent shoulder injury. In his absence, Slava Voyonov logged a career-high 27:44. Jordan Nolan scored the Kings lone goal -- his first goal since December 17th.
Doughty didn’t have a stall in the Kings locker room this morning, so it appears he will not play. It’ll be a rarity to have a Kings defenseman sidelined. Five LA defenders have played 70+ games this season and on the whole the team has only used seven different defensemen all season. Rookie Andrew Campbell has been recalled from Manchester and is expected to dress tonight becoming the eighth defenseman used by the team this season.
On Thursday night, leading scorer Anze Kopitar suited up for his 600th NHL game while Matt Greene played his 500th game and Mike Richards took part in his 200th game as a member of the Kings. Tonight, defenseman Alec Martinez is set to play his 200th NHL game.
Tonight the Kings can match the franchise record for wins in a season (46 achieved three times in 1990-91, 2009-10 & 2010-11). LA is the stingiest team in the NHL allowing 2.05 goals per game and second fewest shot against per game (26.3).
Jon Quick is expected to start for the Kings. He is 12-3 with 3 shutouts in his past 15 with a 1.65 GAA and 93.1 save percentage in that span.
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