|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|LAK||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
The Vancouver Canucks have suffered only a handful of losses during the last month, and they've managed to bounce back from those defeats with a win each time.
Coming off a loss their last time out, the Northwest Division-leading Canucks look to get back on track and avenge an earlier defeat to the lowly Los Angeles Kings when they meet at Staples Center on Monday.
Vancouver (16-10-3) lost to Pittsburgh 2-1 in a shootout Saturday, but has earned a point in all but two games since Nov. 3, going an NHL-best 11-2-3 in that span. The Canucks have not lost consecutive games since Oct. 28 and Nov. 1, which ended a 2-6-0 stretch.
Vancouver has managed just three goals in its last three losses combined, and spoiled another outstanding performance from Roberto Luongo on Saturday.
Luongo finished with 31 saves, denied Sidney Crosby on a penalty shot in overtime and stopped four of six attempts in the shootout.
"(Luongo) was phenomenal," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "They had a penalty shot in overtime - the top player in the league - it doesn't get much better than that. (Our) goalie makes the save and you think the stars would've been a little more aligned there and we could've been able to give him a win, but we didn't."
Luongo, the runner-up to Crosby for the Hart Trophy as league MVP last season, is 4-1-1 with a 0.83 goals-against average and three shutouts since Nov. 25. He hasn't been as sharp on the road lately, though, going 1-2-1 with a 2.73 GAA away from GM Place since Nov. 20.
Luongo also had one of his worst games of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Kings on Oct. 19, stopping just 13 of 16 shots. He is 4-4-1 with a 2.57 GAA in his career against Los Angeles.
The Canucks went 3-0-1 against the Kings last season, winning both games at Staples Center.
Vancouver left wing Daniel Sedin has five goals and five assists in the last nine games against the Kings, while Markus Naslund has four goals and seven assists in those contests. Sedin and Naslund are tied for the team lead with 11 goals.
Los Angeles (11-16-2), owner of the worst record in the Western Conference, is coming off a 4-2 loss to Phoenix.
The game was tied at 1 in the second period when Kings defenseman Rob Blake received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct. The Coyotes scored on the ensuing power play to take a 2-1 lead.
Blake was upset about a roughing penalty he received after goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin was knocked down by a Phoenix player in the crease.
"I don't disagree with the penalty call he got there, but the referee should know what the climate of the team is - and I know they're told by their superiors what the climate is," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "We've lost our No.1 goaltender (Jason LaBarbera) because of (Colorado's) Ryan Smyth crashing the crease, so our guys are obviously very sensitive."
Aubin stopped 18 shots Saturday as he fell to 0-2-1 with a 3.34 GAA since taking over for LaBarbera, who sustained a rib injury during a goal-mouth scramble against the Avalanche on Dec. 1. In his only career start against the Canucks on Feb. 14, 2000, Aubin made 37 saves in a 3-0 win for Pittsburgh.
Anze Kopitar scored his 13th goal of the season Saturday, and has four goals and six assists during a season-high six-game point streak. Kopitar, who leads Los Angeles with 17 assists and 30 points, has a goal and four assists in five games against the Canucks.
The Kings are 3-8-2 since Nov. 13 and 2-6-1 at Staples Center since Oct. 31.
The Canucks, opening a four-game road trip, are 6-2-1 in their last nine away from GM Place.
|Mar 10 '08||VAN 2 at LAK 1 - OT||R. Kesler|
|Jan 19 '08||LAK 4 at VAN 3||A. Frolov|
|Dec 10 '07||VAN 2 at LAK 4||D. Armstrong|
|Oct 19 '07||LAK 4 at VAN 2||A. Frolov|