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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 2-1 win.
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 clock.
"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 game.
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 Coyotes.
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