Vancouver
Canucks
45-27-10
Los Angeles
Kings
34-37-11

22 SOG
22 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
VAN
LAK
game preview

Canucks-Kings Preview

Monday, 03.09.2009 / 4:30 PM

Associated Press

With Roberto Luongo back on top of his game, the Vancouver Canucks are surging toward the top of the Northwest Division and up the Western Conference standings.

If Luongo starts again Monday night, he'll try to continue his recent success in Los Angeles as the Canucks face the Kings looking for their longest win streak in two years.

By going 12-2-1 since the beginning of February, Vancouver (34-22-8) has pulled within eight points of first-place Calgary in the Northwest and into fifth place in the West. The Canucks are five points behind Chicago for the fourth spot.

Vancouver's resurgence is due in large part to Luongo, who's 12-1-1 in his last 14 games and has give up five goals during the Canucks' four-game win streak. He stopped 28 shots in a 3-1 win over San Jose on Saturday night.

"You can't say enough," center Ryan Kesler said. "When he's on his game, he's the best in the league."

Luongo has been at his best whenever he's played at Staples Center recently, winning four straight there with a 1.25 GAA and posting one of his five shutouts this season in 4-0 victory at Los Angeles on Oct. 30.

Vancouver has won four in a row four times this season but hasn't run off five consecutive victories since March 1-9, 2007. The Canucks, seeking their first playoff berth since 2006-07, went 2-5-5 in January.

Along with outstanding goaltending, Vancouver has gotten balanced offensive production during its four-game win streak, with eight players scoring as Canucks have outscored opponents 12-5. They're averaging 3.43 goals since the start of last month.

Vancouver will be facing a Kings club that's rebounded from a four-game skid with consecutive home wins - its first back-to-back victories since a four-game win streak Feb. 3-10. Los Angeles (28-28-9) followed that run by going 2-7-2 before winning its last two games.

The key has been an offensive resurgence. The Kings scored four goals in the last game of their four-game slide and totaled nine goals in defeating Dallas and Minnesota on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

Anze Kopitar has helped spark Los Angeles' increased scoring, recording one goal in each of his last four games and adding three assists in that span. Kopitar had managed one assist over the previous five games.

The third-year center scored his 23rd goal in the Kings' 4-3 win over the Wild.

"When you have a little hot streak, it seems like the puck is always coming to you," said Kopitar, who has a team-leading 57 points and is on a career-best goal streak. "Maybe they're looking for me a little more, or I'm just in the right spot at the right time. Hopefully I'm going to keep going like this and keep contributing."

The Kings need him to, as they've allowed 16 goals in the last four games.

Vancouver has won three straight and four of the last five meetings at Staples Center.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '09LAK 0 at VAN 1R. Kesler
Mar 13 '09LAK 2 at VAN 4H. Sedin
Mar 09 '09VAN 2 at LAK 3J. Stoll
Oct 30 '08VAN 4 at LAK 0D. Sedin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Sedin64253762+182655
H. Sedin64124860+143634
R. Kesler64192443+94871
P. Demitra51172340+91431
A. Burrows64181735+1110702
K. Bieksa55112435+16852
A. Edler6282230+54241
S. Bernier63141529+42124
K. Wellwood5614721+4283
J. Hansen5261521+73701
M. Ohlund6441721+58320
M. Raymond5791120+22240
W. Mitchell6431619+234701
S. Salo4251217+41852
M. Sundin237916-11831
T. Pyatt567714-13700
S. O'Brien6101010+1016400
D. Hordichuk57415+29300
R. Johnson44235-1801
J. Jaffray14224-21402
R. Rypien5202-1700
R. Davison23022-45100
J. Krog4101+0210
M. Brown20011-58500
L. Nycholat14011+3600
A. Bolduc7011+1400
M. Ouellet3000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Luongo3823-9-59010762.42.916
J. LaBarbera267-10-6656422.85.899
C. Sanford197-8-0424482.59.906
C. Schneider82-4-1201623.38.877
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Kopitar65233457-172073
A. Frolov65272451-222111
D. Brown63232750-105475
J. Stoll65162238+05880
P. O'Sullivan62142337+11621
K. Quincey6243337+35322
M. Handzus65141933-52254
K. Calder6081523-23321
D. Doughty6441721-104221
O. Moller347714-31450
W. Simmonds655914-74811
M. Greene6511112-110500
P. Harrold563811-112410
T. Purcell243811-3211
S. O'Donnell6501010+16100
J. Johnson24437-152930
T. Preissing22347-7620
D. Armstrong41426-125111
B. Richardson26044-51100
D. Gauthier53123-126800
T. Lewis6123+0000
R. Ivanans60202-711502
B. Boyle20112-111800
M. Moulson7101-4201
J. Zeiler23000-33700
D. Drewiske5000+1200
K. Westgarth3000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Quick3116-11-1748122.60.909
E. Ersberg258-9-4565442.60.897
J. LaBarbera195-8-4474392.83.893