NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 22nd
(All times Eastern)
(8) Los Angeles Kings (3-1) at (1) Vancouver Canucks (1-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will get another opportunity to win
their Western Conference quarterfinals series tonight, as they visit the top-
seeded Vancouver Canucks for Game 5 at Rogers Arena.
Both clubs should be well rested for this matchup, as the teams haven't played
since Vancouver staved off elimination with a 3-1 road win in Wednesday's Game
4. The Canucks will try to cut the series deficit to 3-2 by posting their first
home win of this series. Vancouver was 27-10-4 as the host during the regular
season, while the Kings were 18-13-10 as the guest.
If the Canucks are able to get another win tonight, this series will head back
to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Tuesday.
Backed by the return of Daniel Sedin, the Canucks stayed alive with Wednesday's
road win. Sedin had been out since March 21 after suffering a concussion, but
his return was right on time as he posted an assist and three shots to help
Vancouver avoid the sweep.
Kevin Bieksa, Alexander Edler and Henrik Sedin each posted a goal while Dan
Hamhuis added two assists for the Canucks. Meanwhile, Cory Schneider, making
his second straight start in place of an ineffective Roberto Luongo, posted 43
saves in the win.
"We needed, obviously, a few of our guys to elevate their performance and
obviously Schneider came up real big for us tonight," said Vancouver head coach
Alain Vigneault. "He gave us a chance in the first period when our guys were a
little bit tight and not as quick as far as moving the puck and doing the right
things. He gave us a chance to get our legs and find our hands and after that I
thought we played pretty good."
Anze Kopitar scored his first goal of the series for the Kings, who received 27
saves from Jonathan Quick in the loss.
"Actually, I thought we played better than we did last game," said Los Angeles
head coach Darryl Sutter. "The difference was 22 [Daniel Sedin] and 33's
[Henrik Sedin] performance."
Schneider came up big with a penalty-shot save on LA captain Dusting Brown at
5:23 of the third period. Moments later, Henrik Sedin would score to give
Vancouver a 3-1 advantage.
"We're not a team that scores a lot and you have to score on your opportunities
and we had a borderline whistle/ non-goal and we missed the penalty shot," said
Sutter. "So we could be just standing here talking about a totally different
thing right now."
Despite Wednesday's win, Vancouver, which lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals
to Boston last spring, is still the verge of becoming the sixth Presidents'
Trophy winner to be eliminated in the first round. The Kings are trying to
become the 10th No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 since the current playoff format
began in 1994.
Los Angeles and Vancouver have met four times in the postseason, with the
Canucks winning the previous encounter in the 2010 conference quarterfinals.
The Kings had won the previous two series (1991 and 1993) after the Canucks
began this matchup's history with a five-game victory in a 1982 meeting.
04/22 10:36:07 ET