Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Kings (1.28.13)

Monday, 28.01.2013 / 11:47 AM / Features
By Daniel Fung

Team Record: 2-2-1
Last Game: 1-4 L at San Jose (JAN.27.13)

Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: 1-2 OT/L (APR.22.12)
Team Record: 1-2-1
Last Game: 4-2 W at Phoenix (JAN.26.13)

Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: 2-1 OT/W (APR.22.12)

THE SET-UP

The Vancouver Canucks (2-2-1) close out their three-game California road trip tonight hoping to bounce back from a tough loss yesterday against the Sharks when they visit the Staples Center to do battle with the defending Stanley Cup champions, Los Angeles Kings (1-2-1).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • While their playoff series finished decidedly in the Kings' favour, the regular season series was much closer last year as the Canucks and Kings split the four head-to-head meetings. The Canucks posted a 1-1 record at the Staples Center in last year's regular season, as well as posted a 1-1 playoff record there.
  • Canucks F Daniel Sedin and Kings F Anze Kopitar each had one goal and three assists during last year's regular season series to lead their respective teams.
  • Canucks F Henrik Sedin (2-3-5) and Kings F Dustin Brown (4-1-5) each had five points during last year's playoff series between the clubs – a series the Kings won four games to one.
  • Canucks G Roberto Luongo is expected to get his first start in eight days with Vancouver playing their second game in back-to-back nights. Luongo started all four games against the Kings in the regular season last year posting a 2-2-0 record with a 1.73 GAA and .941 save percentage. He also had one shutout.
  • Kings G Jonathan Quick started all nine played games against the Canucks last season counting regular season and playoffs. He had a 2-2-0 regular season record (1.73 GAA and .941 save percentage) and a 4-1 playoff record (1.53 GAA and .953 save percentage).
  • Of the 15 goals the Canucks scored against the Kings last season (regular season and playoffs) six of them came off the stick of a defenseman.
  • Speaking of Vancouver's blue-line, since accounting for three of the Canucks' first five goals of the season, they haven't found the back of the net in three straight outings.
  • The Kings are hoping their Stanley Cup hangover is officially over after they picked up their first win in their last outing against Phoenix. They had started the season winless in three games (0-2-1). It was the first time since 2001.02 that they went winless in three straight games to start a season.
  • Canucks F Alex Burrows certainly hopes yesterday was a sign of things to come for him personally. It took five games for Vancouver's second-leading goal scorer from last season to finally find the back of the net. The Canucks had a record of 18-6-1 last season when Burrows scored.
  • The Canucks have given up four-or-more goals in two of five games this season. Last time, they won just three of 16 games where they allowed four-or-more goals against (3-13-0).

FOLLOW THE ACTION

Tonight's game faces off at 7:30 pm PT and can be seen coast-to-coast in Canada on TSN. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.

Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.

THE CANUCKS WIN IF...


  • They show up ready to play from the opening whistle. The Canucks were down 2-0 before they could even blink yesterday against the Sharks. They've had sluggish starts before, but that was the first time they've surrendered goals in the first five minutes of a game this season.
  • Watch the turnovers. Vancouver was charged with only eight giveaways last night but a couple of them led directly to San Jose markers. They can't afford to gift wrap scoring opportunities like they did yesterday.
  • They win the battle in the faceoff dot. The Canucks had their worst night in the faceoff circle yesterday winning just 32 percent of draws. They are 2-0-0 this season when they are 50 percent or better in the faceoff circle, as opposed to 0-2-1 when they fail to win at least 50 percent of faceoffs.


THE KINGS WIN IF...


  • They dominate physically. When the going got tough in the playoffs, the Canucks just couldn't keep up with the Kings. Officially, Los Angeles out-hit Vancouver 180-158 en route to their 4-1 series victory in last year's post-season.
  • They take advantage of the man-advantage. There's simply too much offensive talent on the Kings' roster for them to be 0-for-23 on the power play this season.
  • Stay out of the penalty box. Handing the opposition an average of six power play opportunities a game and giving up an average of one power play goal per game as the Kings have so far this season isn't exactly a recipe for success.

JASON GARRISON

One of the reasons the Canucks made a strong pitch to nab free agent Jason Garrison during the off-season was because of the offence he promised bring to the table from the back end. Last season, the White Rock-native had a breakout year tallying 16 goals – good for third among all NHL defensemen – and 33 points.

The Canucks have seen Garrison's rocket shot unleashed on occasion in the early part of this season but they are hoping to see some of those shots actually hit the net, especially on the power play where he scored nine of those 16 goals he had with the Panthers a year ago. Garrison has averaged two shots per game this season but has yet to find the scoresheet as a Canuck.

A newcomer to Western Conference, tonight will be just Garrison's fourth career game versus the Kings. He has one assist in three previous career outings against Los Angeles.

DUSTIN BROWN

It wasn't too long ago that Dustin Brown was earning rave reviews for his dominating play during his team's Stanley Cup run last spring. The Kings could certainly use a vintage playoff-type performance from Brown sooner rather than later.

The Kings' captain was an unstoppable force during Los Angeles playoff run leading his team in scoring with eight goals and 20 points in 20 games but he's been a shadow of his post-season self to start this year. He's managed just a single assist in four games played and has a team-worst minus-four rating.

The Canucks certainly hope they get to see regular season version of Brown as opposed to playoff version. Last year, the 28-year-old went point-less in four regular season outings against the Canucks but had four goals and five points in the five playoff match-ups versus Vancouver. Tonight will be Brown's 600th career NHL game.

Game Notes on Canucks.com are written by Daniel Fung. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_fung or e-mail him at dfung_sports@hotmail.com.

CANUCKS LEADING SCORERS

2012.13 Regular Season

Player GP G A P +/-
Daniel Sedin
5 2 4 6 -2
Alexander Edler
5 2 2 4 -1
Henrik Sedin
5 0 4 4 0
Zack Kassian
5 3 0 3 -1
Mason Raymond
5 3 0 3 1
KINGS LEADING SCORERS

2012.13 Regular Season

Player GP G A P +/-
Kyle Clifford
4 1 4 5 6
Jeff Carter
4 2 0 2 1
Anze Kopitar
3 2 0 2 0
Jordan Nolan
4 1 1 2 4
Jake Muzzin
3 1 1 2 4
IN THE INFIRMARY

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.

BY THE NUMBERS

2 – Wins needed for Coach V to reach 400 career NHL victories.

6 – Points needed for Henrik Sedin (751) to surpass Markus Naslund (756) as the franchise's leading point scorer.

8 – Wins for the Canucks last season when appearing on TSN (8-2-1).

45.9 – Faceoff win percentage for the Canucks this season. Only Buffalo (40.1) has a worst faceoff win percentage.

225th – All-time meeting between the Canucks and Kings. Vancouver leads the all-time series 97-90-37.

THE TWEET STUFF

@taj1944

- Kassian your next mission is Dustin Brown.

@pattersonjeff

- Back to where he lost his job, Luongo will be asked to lift #Canucks to win over team that chased him from the starters spot.

@FakeBrookWard

- Meantime, Canucks need some PK help. I'm expecting Mark Kirton and Gerry Minor to be called up. #dointhedamage #livininthepast #NHL

DID YOU KNOW?

The 2012 playoffs are a distant memory now for the Kings but it's still worth recalling just how dominant their run to their franchise's first Stanley Cup was. Not only did the Kings post a 16-4 playoff record – tied for second best in NHL playoff history since the league moved to four best-of-seven rounds – they also set several other records en route to capturing the championship.

Among the historic feats they accomplished during their run to the Cup included winning an NHL-record 10 straight road games (they finished 10-1 away from the Staples Center), becoming the first eighth-seeded team to win the Stanley Cup, and being the first team to eliminate a No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seed in the playoffs.