NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (23-12-7) at Los Angeles Kings (25-13-4), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to avoid their longest losing streak in over six years on Saturday night when they open up a homestand against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Kings have dropped five straight in regulation, capping a winless four- game road trip with Thursday's 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Martin Jones got the start between the pipes for Los Angeles, but was pulled in the second period after allowing two goals on 14 shots. Ben Scrivens stopped only nine of the 12 shots he faced in relief.
"We're down on ourselves, but we can't be," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. "We need to pick ourselves up. We need to get that confidence back."
After allowing just eight goals in winning the first eight starts of his NHL career, Jones has yielded seven goals in three straight losses.
Scrivens, meanwhile, has not won since Dec. 2, losing three straight starts, as the duo is slumping in place of the injured Jonathan Quick, who is nearing a return from a strained groin and has not played since Nov. 12.
The Kings now begin a five-game homestand on their longest losing streak since dropping five in a row from Dec. 3-13, 2011. A loss tonight would give Los Angeles its longest skid since it dropped eight in a row from Dec. 12-26, 2007.
The Canucks are a solid 10-2-2 in their last 14, but are coming off a 4-2 setback to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.
Brad Richardson and Zac Dalpe scored in the Canucks' second straight loss, while Eddie Lack yielded all four goals on 33 shots as Vancouver put forth a performance that disappointed head coach John Tortorella.
"It was our worst game of the year," Tortorella said. "We deserved to lose that one. I just think it was a game that we were out of sorts, out of sync, and it wasn't just one particular guy. It was the whole team."
Lack made his third straight start since Roberto Luongo suffered a lower-body injury on Dec. 22. However, the netminder appears ready to return to action after Vancouver sent goaltender Joacim Eriksson back to the American Hockey League on Thursday.
Luongo is 14-10-5 with a 2.33 goals against average and three shutouts in his career versus the Kings, while Lack has faced them just once before in relief on Nov. 9, stopping 13-of-14 shots faced.
The Kings have won the two previous meetings between the clubs this season and have split their last six at home versus the Canucks.
01/04 10:55:58 ET