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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (15-9-6) at Los Angeles Kings (17-11-2), 4 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks aren't letting injuries threaten to derail their season.
The Northwest Division co-leaders take aim at their first three-game winning streak in over a month on Saturday afternoon as they visit the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
The Canucks have picked up a victory in two straight and four of their last six games overall. That has them tied with Minnesota atop the division, though the Wild have a game in hand and host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Vancouver is looking to post its longest winning streak since claiming six in a row from Jan. 30-Feb. 12. However, the club dropped nine of 12 after that run.
The Canucks began a three-game road trip with Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. Chris Tanev tallied in the first period and Jordan Schroeder snapped a tie game by scoring the winner with 10:07 to play.
Cory Schneider made 33 saves for the Canucks, who were without five forwards due to injury: Ryan Kesler, David Booth, Zack Kassian, Chris Higgins and Steve Pinizzotto. That forced Vancouver to recall Andrew Gordon from the minors and shift Keith Ballard from the blue line to the wing.
"We had our work cut out for us with some injuries and a lineup we're not really accustomed to, but I thought everyone did their part and the effort was the key. We worked hard," Schneider said.
Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler was certainly a factor as he picked up an assist on the winning goal, which came not that long after he finished serving a five-minute major for charging late in the second period after slamming into Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith behind the Coyotes bench.
Edler was handed a two-game suspension for the hit and he won't be eligible to play again until Vancouver hosts Columbus on Tuesday.
The Kings will wrap a five-game homestand this afternoon and won the first three of the stay before getting shut out 2-0 by the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Los Angeles has lost only twice in its past 13 home games, both to Dallas.
Jonathan Quick gave up two goals on 21 shots as the Kings had a five-game home winning streak snapped. Quick did his best to keep his club in the game as he did not allow a goal until 6:34 into the third, but was outdueled by Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen.
Los Angeles outshot Dallas 40-21, but forward Anze Kopitar felt his club could have done more with its chances.
"It seemed like (Lehtonen) was on his game but it's not an excuse," said Kopitar, who had a five-game point streak snapped. "We have to throw some more bodies up front, even some more shots -- we had some opportunities that I thought we passed up, passing around, so we could have done a better job."
Los Angeles is still 12-5-0 in its past 17 games, but trails the red-hot Anaheim Ducks by 12 points for first in the Pacific Division. The Kings are tied with the Canucks for fourth in the Western Conference.
These clubs meet for the third and final time this regular season. The Kings picked up a 3-2 shootout win at home in the first encounter, while the Canucks responded with a 5-2 victory in Vancouver on March 2.
The Kings have won four of the past six at home in this series.
03/23 10:43:26 ET
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