The fourth-line forward, who suffered an ankle injury after colliding with LA Kings centre Jarret Stoll in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Kings Vancouver’s home opener last Saturday, was downgraded Friday and will be out six to eight weeks after an MRI revealed Bolduc suffered a high-ankle sprain on the play.
Taking a seat in the press box is nothing new to the 25-year-old as Bolduc missed the last 35 regular season games and all 12 playoff games to close out the 2009-10 season after injuring his shoulder in a one-sided fight with six-foot-eight Minnesota Wild heavyweight John Scott.
Rick Rypien, fresh off returning from an injury of his own, will likely continue to fill Bolduc’s void on the fourth line alongside Guillaume Desbiens and Tanner Glass.
GAME DAY NOTES
By Elizabeth Moffat
The Canucks face off against the Los Angeles Kings for the second time this season.
Despite Vancouver’s 1-0 lead late into the third period, Los Angeles eventually walked away with a 2-1 victory in the shootout during the Canucks home opener on October 9th.
The Canucks finished 2-1-0 in three games against the Kings last season, before eliminating them in the first round of the playoffs.
After being denied a shot at the Stanley Cup, the Kings were eager for revenge, and repeated history made 40 years earlier by dealing the team another home opener loss.
"They booted us out of our ultimate dream last year and we kind of spoiled their opening night here tonight and we're happy for that," said Justin Williams of the Kings following last week’s game.
This season, the Canucks are 1-1-1 coming off of their first regulation loss to the Anaheim Ducks, while the Kings are 2-1-0 following Tuesday’s home opener against the Atlanta Thrashers.
In their last meeting Jonathan Quick of the Ducks blocked 24 of the 25 shots fired at him, as well as both shootout attempts, earning the games top star. Roberto Luongo blocked 32 of 33 shots, but couldn’t stop both shootout goals, giving Anze Kopitar the game winning goal. Quick currently has a .964 SV%, while Luongo stands at .943%.
Despite Los Angeles leading the points race, the two teams have very similar stats going into tonight’s game. Vancouver has slightly higher averages in both goals for (2) and goals against (2), while Los Angeles stands at 1.67 in both goals for and against.
If the Canucks hope to continue their success on the power play, which currently ranks second in the league at 37.5% but this will not be easy against a team that’s perfect on the penalty kill on home ice - though they’ve only played one game at the Staples Center.
This puts some pressure on the Canucks special team line, which replaces Mikael Samuelsson with Ryan Kesler on the first line. Kesler remains scoreless after three games, and has been on the ice for only one of the Canucks six goals. Last season. Kesler finished third in points among Canucks (25-50-75).
Vancouver’s penalty kill will also play an important role in tonight’s game. LA has a power play success rate of just 9.1%.
The penalty kill has so far been dominated by Canuck new comers Dan Hamhuis (5-19-24) and Manny Malhotra (14-19-33), who lead the team in short handed ice time with 12:02 and 11:40 total and averaging 4:00 and 3:53 respectively. Last season, Hamhuis led the Nashville Predators in penalty kill minutes, and ranked third for total hits.
Puck drops at 7:30pm in Los Angeles and can be watched on Canucks.com and Sportsnet Pacific.