Canucks-Kings Preview

The Vancouver Canucks are nearing the end of a six-game road

trip during which they’ve been inconsistent on the offensive


After busting out in their most recent victory, the Canucks look

to stay hot Thursday night when they face the Los Angeles Kings,

who have been dealing with their own struggles to score.

Vancouver (7-7-1) has split the first four games of its trip

after going 5 for 6 on the power play in a 6-2 victory Sunday in


Combined with a win over Calgary to begin the trip Nov. 1,

Vancouver has outscored its opponents 11-3 in victories while being

outscored 8-3 in losses to Minnesota and St. Louis.

The Canucks hadn’t scored five times with the man advantage

since going 5 for 10 in a 6-1 win over Toronto on Jan. 13, 2007.

Vancouver, however, has been outscored 10-6 while at even strength

on the trip, which ends Friday in Anaheim.

“We haven’t been good enough 5-on-5 to win games,” said Henrik

Sedin, who had a goal and three assists against Chicago. “But if we

play good 5-on-5, our special teams will take care of us most


Vancouver, which boasts one of the NHL’s top power-play units

(26.4 percent), is 7-2-1 in its last 10 regular-season meetings

with Los Angeles, which snapped an 0-3-2 slide with a 4-3 win over

Nashville on Tuesday.

The Kings (7-5-3) had scored two goals or fewer in each game

during their skid before beginning their four-game homestand on a

positive note.

Mike Richards scored the go-ahead goal followed by Simon Gagne’s

game-winner in the second period.

“They come to the rink every day and they’re in their own little

sanctuary,” coach Terry Murray said of Richards and Gagne, who are

each in their first year with Los Angeles. “They’re good teammates

and they’re learning to be a member of the team. They’re also

learning the system and style and the culture that we’re putting

together here.”

Richards is scoreless in his last three games against the

Canucks, while Gagne has five goals and five assists in nine career

meetings with Vancouver.

Backup Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves against Nashville while

giving Jonathan Quick a night off. Quick is 3-6-1 lifetime in the

regular season against the Canucks, but he has a solid 2.08

goals-against average.

If he starts Thursday, he could be in for a tough night against

the Sedins, who share Vancouver’s scoring lead with 18 points


Daniel has scored a goal in each of his last three games against

the Kings, also adding an assist in the Canucks’ 3-1 win March


Henrik had his seven-game point streak versus Los Angeles

snapped in that matchup, though he’ll look to begin a new streak

coming off his career high-tying four-point performance against


Roberto Luongo made 38 saves Sunday to improve to 3-1-0 with a

2.51 GAA in his last four starts. He’s 6-2-1 with a 2.09 GAA in his

last nine regular-season starts versus Los Angeles.

The Kings are 3-1-1 in the last five regular-season meetings at

Staples Center.