WHALE BLUBBER: This is the third of five meetings with the Vancouver Canucks this season. The Kings are 2-0-0 against British Columbia’s club, winning 5-1 on November 9, and 3-2 in OT on November 25. The Kings scored seven-total regulation goals in those two games against the Canucks, they’ve scored six goals in their past five games. Who’s fattening up the score sheet tonight?
A POINT APART: The Kings’ current five-game losing streak has allowed a few clubs to catch up to them in the Western Conference standings, while a couple even surpassed. Vancouver (53 PTS, 7TH - PLACE) is now one point behind the Kings (54 PTS, 6TH - PLACE) in the Western Conference heading into tonight. Can the Kings shake off tonight’s company?
STAPLES ICE: The Kings’ five-game home stand that begins tonight will start and finish with and against the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks will be in Los Angeles nine days from now, January 13, for their third and final visit to STAPLES Center this season. The last time the Kings hosted the Canucks at STAPLES Center, they potted five goals en rout to a 5-1 win.
WHO’S IN NET?: There’s chatter that Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo could return to the Canucks’ crease tonight, playing in his first game since suffering a lower-body injury December 22 against the Winnipeg Jets.
There’s also some talk regarding a Jonathan Quick return. We’ll leave it at that.
Jonathan Quick stopped 25 of Vancouver’s 26 shots in a 5-1 win against the Canucks on November 9. Ben Scrivens stymied Vancouver on November 25, recording 37 saves on 39 shots in the Kings’ 3-2 OT win. Martin Jones, who was named one of the NHL’s ‘Rookie of the Month’ Friday, has lost three straight games after winning his first eight.
POOR IF IT ISN’T RICH-ARDS: The Kings’ offense is struggling, and that always includes personal droughts. Mike Richards, like a slew of players on the Kings roster, are amidst offensive slumps. Richards has one point (1A) in the Kings’ last 10 games, and only one goal to his name in the past 25 games. Richards has four points (2G, 2A) in the Kings’ two contests against the Vancouver Canucks this season, including an assist on the game-winning goal November 9, and scoring the game-tying goal with under three-minutes to play on November 25.
MR. ONE-THOUSAND: Tonight will mark Darryl Sutter’s 1,000th NHL game as a Head Coach. Sutter coached the Chicago Blackhawks from 1992-1995, the San Jose Sharks from 1997-2003, and the Calgary Flames from 2002-2006. Since his hiring and first game at the helm of the Kings bench on December 22, 2011 against the Anaheim Ducks, Sutter has led this franchise to unprecedented success with a 106-55-20 record in 181 games behind the Kings’ bench – including the playoffs, where he snagged a Stanley Cup in 2012.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 6:30 on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at STAPLES Center for the early 7:00 puck drop – with respects paid to the alternate ‘Hockey Night In Canada’ broadcast regulations.