Gameday skate: Nucks visit Kings in Luongo’s return

California Love

The Vancouver Canucks will look to bounce back against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night on Hockey Night In Canada.

The Canucks played what was described as their worst game of the year on Wednesday against the Lightning, but will receive help tonight as Roberto Luongo returns to the crease.

The Kings are dealing with their own struggles and will be looking for their first win in five-straight games tonight at home.

Roberto’s return

Roberto Luongo will return to the lineup tonight after missing three games with a groin strain suffered on December 22nd versus the Winnipeg Jets. Luongo attempted to stay in the game but was ultimately replaced by Eddie Lack who played well going 1-1-1 with a shutout in Luongo’s absence.

Stars vs. Canucks

Can Chris Higgins get the Canucks’ power play going?

Look for Luongo to give the Canucks a boost as the team searches for its first win of the calendar year tonight in Los Angeles.

Higgins to help power play?

One of the Canucks’ biggest problems since their December winning streak ended has been their power play.

The Canucks are 1 for 19 over their last seven games with the man advantage and have been looking for alternate lineups to give the group a boost moving forward.

Chris Higgins was seen practicing on the power play unit during Friday’s practice and is expected to be used tonight as John Tortorella searches for a way to spark his putrid power play.

LA losing streak

The Los Angeles Kings will be looking for their first win in six games as they take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at the Staples Center.

The Kings have lost five-straight in regulation, failing to score more than two goals in all five contests including a pair of shutouts against the Blackhawks and Blues.

Look for a defensive game between two teams that have been struggling to score in their own separate ways since the Christmas break.

Jones just human

After a sublime start to his NHL season Martin Jones has begun to look like a rookie goaltender once again. After earning eight-straight wins to begin his NHL career, including three shutouts, the Kings’ surprise of the year has dropped three-straight games, allowing seven goals over that span.

While Jones hasn’t received much run support either, the problems are piling up for the Kings as they look to make up for a poor start to 2014 on Thursday.

Get Garrison Going

Jason Garrison has been held without a point for four-straight games heading into tonight’s contest with the Canucks, making it clear who has to get his game back on track as the team’s power play similarly struggles.

Garrison’s big shot was used to great effect earlier in the year but has disappeared of late, leaving the Canucks with few power play options on the point.

Look for the Canucks to get Garrison open with the man advantage tonight.

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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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