Los Angeles
Kings
32-43-7
Vancouver
Canucks
39-33-10

24 SOG
46 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
LAK
VAN
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Kings-Canucks Preview

Saturday, 01.19.2008 / 4:00 PM

Associated Press

Returning home might be what the Vancouver Canucks need to snap out of their current slump. That's if they can finally beat the Los Angeles Kings.

The Canucks look to avoid losing a season-high third straight game overall, as well as a third straight to the Kings, when the teams meet Saturday night at GM Place.

Vancouver (25-17-5) returns home after falling 3-2 in a shootout at Detroit on Thursday to finish 1-1-1 on a brief road trip that included stops in St. Louis and Columbus.

The Canucks are 13-7-2 at home, including 12-1-2 since losing six of their first seven at GM Place.

Vancouver, very much in the mix in the tight Northwest Division, has lost four of its last five, but its last four contests have been decided by one goal each. The lone win came 4-3 in a shootout against the Blues on Sunday to open the road swing.

Despite losing Thursday, Vancouver rallied from two goals down thanks to second-period goals by Henrik Sedin and Markus Naslund.

"Every point is critical now so we'll have to be ready Saturday," said Sedin, who also added an assist and extended his point streak to four games. "The way we came back, too, was a good sign."

Sedin has six points in his last four contests, but has yet to register a point this season against Los Angeles, which has won both meetings between the teams.

Vancouver's Roberto Luongo made a season-high 47 saves Thursday, but lost for the third time in four games.

"We threw a lot of shots at Luongo. He's a great goalie, so that's what you have to do," Detroit's Dan Cleary said.

Luongo, who is 21-14-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average and was voted a starter for the upcoming NHL All-Star game, won't play in the Jan. 27 contest so he can spend time with his pregnant wife. He had a three-game winning streak against Los Angeles snapped in the Canucks' 4-2 home loss to the Kings on Oct. 19.

He is 4-4-1 with a 2.57 GAA against Los Angeles in his career.

The Kings (18-28-2), who look to take a series from the Canucks for the second time in three seasons, had their three-game winning streak Friday with a 6-1 loss at Calgary.

Derek Armstrong scored the lone goal - assisted by Raitis Ivanans - for Los Angeles, which struggled in every facet of the game after outscoring its opponents 12-6 during the win streak.

"We made far too many mistakes both in the offensive zone and the defensive zone," said Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford, whose team has an NHL-low 38 points.

Jason LaBarbera was pulled for Jean-Sebastien Aubin after giving up five goals in two periods Friday. Each Kings goaltender has started a game versus Vancouver this season.

Armstrong, who recorded a point for the third time in four games, has a goal and two assists versus Vancouver in 2007-08.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '08VAN 2 at LAK 1 - OTR. Kesler
Jan 19 '08LAK 4 at VAN 3A. Frolov
Dec 10 '07VAN 2 at LAK 4D. Armstrong
Oct 19 '07LAK 4 at VAN 2A. Frolov
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%