CANUCKS (24-13-9) at KINGS (27-14-5)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
CONNECT FOUR: This is the fourth of five meetings with the Vancouver Canucks this season. The Kings will finish up the season series on April 5 when they travel to British Columbia for a date at Rogers Arena. The Kings are 3-0-0 against Vancouver this season, including a 3-1 win nine days ago at STAPLES Center. The Canucks (57 PTS) are just two points behind the Kings (59 PTS) for the Pacific Division’s third and final guaranteed playoff spot.
Can the Kings fend ‘em off, again, tonight?
NO CHASER: The Kings have been piling up the shots as of late. Including Saturday night’s 45-shot outpour against the Detroit Red Wings, the Kings have recorded a total of 169 shots in their previous four contests – chiming in at a whopping 42 shots per-game average. But goals haven’t been coming with those shots. The Kings have scored nine goals on their 169 shots the previous four games, a brutal 5.3% success-rate. Can they make their shots count tonight?
OH! ROBERTO!: Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo has played in just one game in Vancouver’s last seven contests. His only start, and appearance, came against the Kings on January 4. Luongo made 46 saves on the Kings’ 48 shots that night, and practiced with the Canucks Sunday in preparation for tonight’s bout at STAPLES Center. Can the Kings welcome Luongo back from an injury with another win against him and the Canucks tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings’ previous tango with the Vancouver Canucks came just nine days ago on January 4, when they beat the Canucks 3-1 to snap a five-game losing streak with a three-goal outburst in the third period in Jonathan Quick’s first game back from his groin injury that saw him sit out 24 games.
Dustin Brown ended a six-game goal-less drought to tie the game, and Jeff Carter notched the game-winning goal, as well as an empty-netter, to seal the deal for the Kings.
Carter has 16 points (9G, 7A) in the Kings’ last 15 games. Can he find the score sheet tonight?
CARTER CUE’S A W
HOME AND OUT: Tonight will mark the Kings’ final game at STAPLES Center until January 30. The Kings are putting a cap on their current five-game home stand, where they’ve posted a 2-1-1 record so far. The Kings are riding a rough stretch, going 3-6-1 in their previous 10 contests. Can they continue to right their ship tonight at STAPLES Center before hitting the road?
GOING GREENE?: Matt Greene, who hasn’t played in the Kings’ previous four contests, albeit being 100% healthy, might get the signal from Darryl Sutter tonight. Greene has been a healthy-scratch the last four games, but a slew of defensive breakdowns seen from the Kings Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings might just whittle Greene back into the Kings’ defensive scheme tonight.
WATCHING, NOT SKATING: The Kings dedicated their off-day Sunday to video sessions, team meetings, and off-ice workouts. They’ll be back on the ice at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo for a morning skate prior to tonight’s contest at STAPLES Center. Can the Kings reclaim their winning ways after a day off the skates?
KINGS OF VANCOUVER
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 7:00, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at STAPLES Center for puck-drop at 7:30.
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