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
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
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
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