NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (10-6-2) at Vancouver Canucks (10-5-4), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings aim to extend their recent surge on
Saturday night, when they try to hand the Vancouver Canucks a season high-
tying third straight loss.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings are trying to dig themselves out of a
3-5-2 start as they have won a season-high five straight games as well as
seven of their past eight. That has them tied for second in the Pacific
Division with both the San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars, nine points back of
the Anaheim Ducks.
Los Angeles looked in danger of falling into the loss column on Wednesday as
it trailed the Detroit Red Wings for much of the game before rallying for a
Jeff Carter scored during a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game with 9:34 to
play before Anze Kopitar put home the winning goal with 4:48 remaining on the
"I think we're putting together a pretty good streak here, and we've got to
keep it going," said Kopitar, who has eight points over his last four games.
Carter, meanwhile, has scored a goal in five straight, one off his career-best
streak set from Feb. 8-March 3, 2010 while with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Backup netminder Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves, 20 over the final two periods
after giving up a first-period goal, to win his career-best fourth straight
Following a perfect three-game homestand, the Kings play in Vancouver before
returning to Los Angeles for a five-game stay. They aim to do so with their
first six-game winning streak since March 11-22 of last year.
The Canucks, meanwhile, hope to avoid losing a third straight for the second
time this season. They first did so from Feb. 15-19, though the last two
defeats came in a shootout.
Vancouver has lost two straight in regulation however, losing by five goals in
Detroit last Saturday before Tuesday's 4-2 setback to the visiting Phoenix
Jason Garrison and Henrik Sedin each scored once for the Canucks, who have
dropped five of seven overall and three in a row at home. Cory Schneider
allowed three goals on 21 shots in the setback.
"We knew what to expect here and we just didn't respond very well," said
Sedin. "They played exactly the way we thought they would and just couldn't
get anything going."
Saturday will also mark the start of Ryan Kesler's second extended absence
from the lineup. The forward missed the first 12 contests of 2013 due to
shoulder and wrist surgery in the offseason and appeared in seven games before
a CT scan on Wednesday discovered a fractured right foot.
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters he did not know how much
time Kesler would miss, though he said he expected the nine-year veteran to be
out at least a month.
Vancouver has also played without defenseman Kevin Bieksa for two straight
because of a strained groin.
With Kesler now sidelined, the Canucks claimed forward Tom Sestito off waivers
from the Flyers on Friday.
The Kings have won three of their last four versus the Canucks, including a
3-2 shootout win on Jan. 28 in the first of three meetings this season. Carter
had the winning goal in the bonus frame of that matchup in Los Angeles after
also scoring during regulation.
The Canucks have won six of their past eight at home versus the Kings.
03/02 10:35:30 ET