BAUMGARTNER LIKELY TO DRESS IN GAME FOUR
Canucks defenceman Nolan Baumgartner will likely dress tonight in game four against the Los Angeles Kings in place of Aaron Rome.
Rome made it back to the ice Monday after missing game one and two of the first round with an injury. He left during the third period of game three and did not participate in the optional skate on Tuesday. He is considered day-to-day.
Baumgartner played 12 games with the Canucks in the regular season recording two points (1-1-2). He hasn't played a post-season game with the Canucks since 2002-2003 where he skated in two matches, and did not register any points. He will likely skate alongside Kevin Bieksa.
"I just want to go out there, keep it simple like I usually do and try to keep my feet going," said Baumgartner. "It's a little quicker out there now, guys are coming harder so I need to do that."
No other lineup changes are expected for today's game. Healthy scratches again are likely Darcy Hordichuk, Rick Rypien, Matt Pettinger, and Andrew Alberts.
GAME FOUR NOTES
Heading into game four, the Canucks need contribution from their most key players, Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins. After letting in four goals on 16 shots and getting pulled in Monday’s game, Luongo’s post-season 0.880 save percentage and 3.20 GAA won’t be enough to overcome the surging LA Kings.
However, the Canuck captain does have an impressive record for games after being pulled. He is 6-1 with a 2.00 GAA and a .929 SV% this year, letting in just 14 goals on 198 shots. If he can perform like that tonight, the Canucks will be a hard team to contend with. He certainly needs to stay sharp during penalty kills considering the Canucks’ PK struggles last game, which let in three goals on three opportunities.
"He's a world class goalie and he's the leader of our team," said Tanner Glass. "We expect him to be great tonight, and I can't think of a reason why he won't be."
Vancouver is last in the post-season with a 41.7% penalty kill after game three. Without experienced forward Ryan Johnson, the Canucks are missing a key component of their penalty killing unit and will need to get their timing right when blocking shots and getting in shooting lanes.
"We've just been a fraction of a second behind and it's cost us," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "We're well aware of it and we're going to be much better tonight."
Being effective on the PK is more important for the Canucks’ than netting goals on the power-play. Despite going zero for four on the power-play last game, the Canucks sit eighth with an 18.2 PP% conversion rate. The Canucks are 6-3 against the Kings in goals scored on even strength, while seven of the Kings’ 10 goals this series have been with the man-advantage.
Some inspiration comes from the Washington Capitals, who are zero for 14 on the PP, but who are the highest scoring team in the post-season so far with 12 goals.
The Sedins may find themselves on the PK tonight, something they haven’t done a lot of since the 2005-06 season where they were on the ice for just 13 of 93 goals-against.
After being matched up against Kings forwards Michal Handzus, Brad Richardson, and Fredrik Modin, the Sedins have struggled to produce offensively. Both Daniel and Henrik recorded more points against the Calgary Flames in their last regular season game (they registered four each) than they have in games one through three against the Kings, where they’ve netted just three points each.
"We're definitely paying special attention to that line," said Richardson. "They're a great cycle line, and the twins have that chemistry. They like to play behind the net and that's one thing we're trying to keep a hold on a little bit. Once they get the puck they can make some pretty good plays."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX EDLER
Alex Edler will spend his 24th birthday in Staples Center squaring off against LA. He’s been a major force on the Canucks defensive line this post-season recording the most hits (13) of any Canuck and any King.
After four seasons with Vancouver, the Ostersund, Sweden native has set new career highs in assists (37) and points (42).
The youngest Canuck defenceman has appeared in 16 playoff games with the Canucks recording eight points (1-7-8).
MOOSE LOOKING TO TIE SERIES
After an impressive 7-2 victory against the Hamilton Bulldogs Monday night, the Manitoba Moose are hoping to tie the series 2-2. Monday’s game was the first time in history the Moose have ever scored more than six goals in a playoff game.
Rookie Jordan Schroeder netted his first playoff hat trick Monday. He’s the first to do so since in playoffs since Jason Jaffray in the Calder Cup Final against the Hershey Bears on June 2, 2009. The last time a rookie has recorded a hat trick was on November 21, 2007 when Mason Raymond scored three against the Rochester Americans.
Manitoba’s all-time record in game four of a series is 10-7. They won game four last season on May 6 against the Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2009 North Division Final.
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