There are few who would argue the fact the Canucks have more balanced scoring than the Kings. Vancouver, who finished with 268 goals in the regular season excluding shootout totals (37 more than the Kings), have three legitimate scoring lines with the Sedin brothers and Alex Burrows comprising the first unit, Ryan Kesler anchoring a second unit with veteran and consistent point producers Pavol Demitra and Mikael Samuelsson, and a third line unit that includes the resurgent Kyle Wellwood and a 25-goal scorer in Mason Raymond.
The Kings will rely mostly on their number one line of Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams to lead the way offensively. The trio showed a lot of early season chemistry before injuries to Smyth and Williams necessitated some line juggling. After that, they'll need to get some production from streaky scorers such as Dustin Brown and Alexander Frolov.
Blue-line scoring is also a strong possibility. The Kings are led by a pair of young studs in Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson but don't have as much depth as Vancouver does as far as scoring defencemen go after the top two. Vancouver counters with a pair of 40-plus point producers in Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler to go with Sami Salo and Kevin Bieksa, both of whom have shown a penchant for being able to score big goals in the past.
The two teams finished tied in the regular season series with 11 goals each, but eight of Los Angeles' markers came in one contest.
As far as goals against go in the regular season, the two teams were virtually deadlocked with Los Angeles edging out Vancouver slightly by surrendering seven fewer goals over the 82-game grind (211 vs 218).
The Canucks, it could be argued, were the more consistent team defensively during the regular season series giving up just a single goal in each of the first three games prior to their forgettable 8-3 loss on April 1. The Kings, meanwhile, gave up at least three goals per game in each of the last three meetings of the season series.
Most of the focus in this series as far as shutting down the opposition's offence will be on the netminders in Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Quick. Neither have had particular strong finishes to the regular season with Luongo having surrendered three-or-more goals in eight of his final 10 contests (4-4-2) while Quick having given up three-or-more goals in seven of his last nine outings and with a personal win-less streak of six-games (0-3-3) heading into the playoffs.
Both the Canucks and Kings have fielded strong power play units this season with Vancouver's 20.9 percent efficiency rate (68 goals on 325 power play opportunities ) barely edging out Los Angeles' 20.8 percent efficiency rate (64 goals on 307 opportunities).
The Kings have all the tools to trot out a very simple, but effective power play with a smart shooter from the point (i.e. Drew Doughty with nine PPGs this season), a big body presence in front of the net (i.e. Ryan Smyth - 11 PPGs this season), and a crafty winger who can make plays and direct traffic from the side boards (i.e. Anze Kopitar - 14 PPGs).
Vancouver's power play, despite sitting near the top of the League the entire season, is as enigmatic as their netminder has been in recent contests. While the usual suspects such as the Sedin brothers and Ryan Kesler can be found, surprising omissions from regular power play time include leading goal-scorer Alex Burrows and, recently, Mason Raymond, who tied for second on the team with eight power play markers. The Canucks' power play has connected just two times on 15 opportunities in the season series while the Kings' man-advantage has connected twice on 17 chances overall.
As far as penalty killing goes, both teams sit middle of the pack in the NHL with Vancouver again holding a slight edge at 81.6 percent effectiveness (59 PPGs allowed on 320 times short-handed) versus an 80.3 percent effectiveness (60 PPGs allowed on 304 times short-handed) for the Kings.
Given that the teams have had similar numbers throughout the entire season, you can give the edge to Los Angeles based on available personnel. Vancouver has played nearly half the season without their top shutdown blue-liner in Willie Mitchell and recently lost the services of the defensive specialist Ryan Johnson with a broken foot. The Kings, meanwhile, are about as healthy as any team can be after an 82-game regular season.