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Canucks Report: Just win

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
Win and we’re in*.

*The Winnipeg Jets need to lose in regulation tonight as well, so let’s just focus on what we can control.

The Vancouver Canucks are back at it Monday night hosting the Los Angeles Kings with potentially a playoff spot on the line.

The Jets face the Wild at 5 p.m. PT, so the Canucks will know before the end of their battle with the Kings if they have a chance to clinch. Whether or not they can with a win, they want the victory.

The Canucks skated Monday morning with only eight players and three goalies taking part, but Eddie Lack and Luca Sbisa both returned after not practicing Sunday with the rest of the team.

Both are good to go against LA.

The only line-up change expected is Ronalds Kenins returning in favour of Sven Baertschi, although coach Desjardins would not confirm this.

Desjardins also made it clear neither Brad Richardson or Zack Kassian are close to returning as they still aren’t practicing with the team. Coach expected Richardson back a while ago and didn’t believe Kassian would be out this long either, so he’s not pushing their returns.

KINGDOM COME

Expect a playoff atmosphere in Rogers Arena tonight when the Canucks host the Kings to open a three-game home stand to end the regular season.

Vancouver is 1-3-0 against Los Angeles this year, with their lone win coming in LA on March 21st. The Canucks need another win to all but cement their playoff spot, while the Kings refuse to go gently into the night and are clinging to the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.

You want high-stakes, you got’em.

”It’s great, this is the best time of the year, so much fun and we know we’re going to be ready for a good game tonight and hopefully get the win,” said Daniel Sedin, who has 15 goals and 39 points in 52 career games against the Kings. “We want to get into the playoffs, they do too, so everyone realizes how big this game is, it’s going to be a lot of fun, it’ll be a playoff game for sure. We’ve played some good hockey against them, we got the win last time and we’ll go from there.”

LEAD THE VEY

The Canucks are an impressive 26-6-2 when opening the scoring in a game. That being said, Vancouver has done it only once in the last four games, having won two of those.

Linden Vey said it’s a key to getting off to the start they need against the Kings.

”This time of year, you want to have good starts and it’s something we’ve been struggling with,” he said. “It shows the type of team we are that we’ve been able to come back in lots of game, but we still don’t want to have to do that each and every game.”

NUMBER GAME

Sven Baertschi could make his Canucks debut in Vancouver tonight and if he does, it’ll be sporting a different number than his original team debut Saturday in Winnipeg.

At practice Sunday Baertschi switched from No. 42 to No. 47, which he has worn since the Calgary Flames assigned it to him. Despite how things shook down in Calgary, Baertschi calls it his “lucky number.”

“I’m just used to wearing it, so I wanted to go back to it if I could,” he laughed. “It’s not a big deal.”

This time of year, everything is news. Welcome to Vancouver, Sven.

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