The Vancouver Canucks visit the Los Angeles Kings tonight for their fourth meeting of the season opening another California adventure at the Staples Center. The Canucks dropped back-to-back games against the Kings and Ducks during a two-game road trip earlier this month, but will be looking to even things out during this week’s road swing.
The Canucks will receive a boost to their blue line to begin the road trip with Alex Edler expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Kings. Frank Corrado was sent back to to Utica this morning, giving way for Edler to make his return from a knee injury. Edler has been out of the lineup for over a month and will have some rust to shake off tonight against the Kings.
Black In Blue
The Los Angeles Kings made a point of taking the puck to the blue paint during last week’s game, setting the tone for tonight’s rematch. Captain Dustin Brown drove to the net on a number of occasions, one of which resulted in Roberto Luongo‘s ankle injury. With revenge on their minds both in the standings and on the ice the Canucks are expected to play a passionate and determined game as they attempt to cause trouble for Jonathan Quick in the Kings’ crease.
Kings Holding Court
The Los Angeles Kings have won all three contests against the Canucks this season including a dominant 3-1 win last week when the home team launched 48 shots towards Roberto Luongo. The Kings have out-shot the Canucks 81-54 during their two home games against Vancouver this season and can be expected to fire the puck at Eddie Lack early and often again tonight.
The Canucks have managed only two even strength goals against the Kings this season, making it clear Vancouver’s top players need to step up their game tonight against a defensively solid Kings team. Both goals came off the stick of defenceman, and while both Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler have power play goals against LA it is obvious Vancouver’s forwards have let them down throughout the season series so far.
Zac Dalpe is expected to start alongside the Sedin twins again tonight as John Tortorella rides the hot hand in an effort to spark his star players. The Sedins each have a pair of power play points against the Kings after three games played but will have to get their game going at even strength if the Canucks are to have a chance tonight in Los Angeles. Look for Dalpe to have a short leash tonight as Tortorella looks for a way to get the twins going again tonight.