NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 14th
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (21-10-3) at Vancouver Canucks (18-14-0), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to post their longest
winning streak in almost four years tonight in a matchup with the Vancouver
Canucks at GM Place.
The Kings have won a season high-tying four straight games for the third time
this year and have also notched a point in eight straight for the second time
in 2009-10. Los Angeles handed Dallas a 3-2 shootout loss on Saturday to
improve to 7-0-1 in its last eight games. The club put together a 6-0-2 run
from October 19-November 4.
Los Angeles' latest run has them tied with San Jose for first place in the
Pacific Division with 45 points, tied for the most in the Western Conference.
The Kings haven't won five straight since February 11-March 7, 2006.
Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov scored in regulation, while Michal Handzus
has the winner in the shootout. Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to improve to
7-1-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average in his last nine games.
"We seem to have a flair for the dramatic right now," forward Justin Williams
said. "We are playing well, creating points, and still have a lot more to
give. That's the positive thing. We are not playing our best hockey yet we're
winning games. That definitely bodes well for us in the future."
The Kings begin a four-game road trip tonight and are 11-6-1 as the guest
thanks to wins in five of their last six on the road. Los Angeles, though,
begins the swing without Wayne Simmonds, who suffered a knee injury on
Thursday versus Phoenix.
Simmonds has nine goals and 20 points in 33 games this year after posting nine
goals and 23 points in 82 games as a rookie last year. He will undergo surgery
on Monday and his return timetable is still unknown.
The Canucks continue an eight-game homestand tonight and have won the first
two contests of the residency, which runs through December 26. After a win
over Atlanta on Thursday, Vancouver recorded a 4-3 triumph versus Minnesota on
Daniel Sedin and Mason Raymond each had a goal and an assist, with Sedin
running his point streak to six games (6 goals, 5 assists). Brother Henrik
notched three assists to give him six straight multi-assist games. He has 13
helpers in that span and is now tied for second in the NHL in scoring with 41
Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks, who scored a
trio of power-play goals, have won six of their last nine and improved to
12-4-0 at home this season.
"That was big for us," Henrik Sedin said of the team's power play. "We had a
lot of chances of late and the puck hasn't gone in for us, but tonight it
Roberto Luongo made 38 saves, including 18 in the second period, to notch the
These two clubs have met twice this season, with the Canucks notching both a
home and a road win to run their series winning streak to four games.
Vancouver has also won six of the last seven meetings and three straight as
12/14 11:11:28 ET