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Canucks Report: Game Day vs Kings

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
April 1, 2010

D. Sedin

DANIEL GAME TIME DECISION

Daniel Sedin is a game-time decision for tonight's tilt against the LA Kings, who are on the verge of their first playoff berth since the 2001-2002 season, where they lost in the Conference Quarterfinals against the Colorado Avalanche.

Sedin has minor back issues and if he doesn't dress tonight, that leaves the Canucks with 11 forwards, despite travelling with 14. Steve Bernier and Mikael Samuelsson are not ready to dress but the Canucks do have seven d-men on the trip, if needed.

Sedin missed 18 games earlier this season with a foot injury and is still the team's second leading scorer with 76 (24-52-76) points this year.

HENRIK SHINES AS NHL'S THIRD STAR OF THE MONTH

Canucks centre and lead scorer Henrik Sedin has been named the National Hockey League's third star of the month for March. Lee Stempniak of the Phoenix Coyotes was named first star, and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings was named second.

Henrik (29-75-104) registered 24 points in the month of March (4 goals, 20 assists) leading all NHL scorers. He set a new career high in points passing his 82 he earned last season. He now leads the league in points (104), four ahead of the Washington Capital's Alex Ovechkin, and assists (75), nine ahead of San Jose's Joe Thornton.

On March 14, Henrik scored his 416th career assist in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames passing Trevor Linden's all-time franchise record of 415.

Henrik ends the month of the March on a five-game point streak, and is seven away from surpassing Pavel Bure's 110 regular season points from the 1992-93 to set a new franchise record for most points in a season.

GAME DAY NOTES

The Canucks face the first of their last back-to-back games today against the Los Angeles Kings before heading to Anaheim for a Friday night tilt against the Ducks. The Canucks need one more point to clinch a playoff spot.

The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2002 but are close to reaching the post-season this time around. They sit seventh in the West and third in the Pacific division with 92 points (43-27-6). With the Canucks (46-26-4) at third in the West, the Kings are a potential playoff match-up.

The Canucks haven’t lost once to the Kings this season winning all three meetings so far and outscoring them 9-3. The Canucks have won seven of the last eight against the Kings overall. The Canucks overtook the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 Tuesday despite the loss of Ryan Kesler who had to leave the match with a game misconduct.

The Canucks have an impressive record this year when it comes to back-to-backs. They are 8-2-3 for the first of back-to-backs, and 9-3-1 for the second. There have been seven occasions this season where the Canucks have won both.

"I don't mind back-to-backs, you're in hockey mode, and our record has been really good," said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. "Our guys are in great shape. Obviously tomorrow night against LA it's going to be a tough game, they just won last night against Nashville 2-0. Our games against Anaheim are always battles, there's a lot of bad blood between both those teams and we're going to have to be really good."

Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier will get the start again tonight against the Canucks after shutting out the Nashville Predators Tuesday, making 34 saves and putting a stop to the Kings’ four-game losing streak. The 21 year old was called up on Monday after regular backup goaltender Erik Ersberg suffered a strained back.

"This is the first opportunity that I've been able to back away from Quicker [Jonathan Quick] for a little while,'' Murray said yesterday to Kings.com writer Rich Hammond. "His opportunity just to get some quality practice time in, for several days, is there because of Jonathan Bernier's performance in last night's game. He was solid, he had a shutout and I'm going to reward that performance with the game tomorrow against Vancouver.

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