Tonight marks the third of five meetings with the Canucks this season, and the first of two at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. The Canucks are playing the second of a seven-game home stand, they’re coming off of a 2-1 OT win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. The Kings are playing the second of a four-game road trip, they’re coming off of a 4-3 OT win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
CARTER’S STATUS: Jeff Carter logged only 48 seconds of ice time Saturday night after suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury during the game’s opening face off. Carter, who leads the Kings in points with 28 (11G, 17A) is said to be on a “day-to-day” basis in recovery, and is with the team in Vancouver. “I feel all right, we’ll see what happens,” Carter said Monday morning in regards to his chances of playing tonight.
LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at Rogers Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. Jeff Carter did not skate, but was in the building. The Kings skated with the same lines used during Sunday’s practice, with Nick Shore moving up to the second unit and Jordan Weal slotting in between Michael Mersch and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line. Derek Forbort skated alongside Jamie McBain, so it looks as though Christian Ehrhoff will be out. Jonathan Quick left the ice shortly before Jhonas Enroth, but is not guaranteed to start with the Kings amidst a back-to-back stretch.
LUCIC – KOPITAR – TOFFOLI
PEARSON – SHORE – GABORIK
LEWIS – ANDREOFF – BROWN
MERSCH – WEAL – NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
FORBORT – MCBAIN
PACIFIC PUSH: The Kings’ five-game stretch against Pacific division opponents continues tonight, the Canucks only seven points behind the Kings’ lead, sitting at third-place in the group. Vancouver is 5-1-3 against the Pacific this season, the Kings 5-5-0. Four teams are within eight points of the Kings’ division lead.
JORDAN’S HOME: Jordan Weal, who will likely find his way into tonight’s lineup with the uncertainty surrounding Jeff Carter’s availability, hails from North Vancouver. “It’s going to be pretty cool,” Weal said of the homecoming. “I spent a lot of time in this rink watching the Canucks over the years.” The rookie estimated 30 or so friends and family to be in attendance tonight. “My buddy’s got a group somewhere in the lower bowl there, so it should be a lot of fun.” In nine games with the Kings this season, Weal has yet to record his first NHL point.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings have split their two games against the Canucks this season, losing 3-0 on October 13 and winning 2-1 in OT on December 1, both games at STAPLES Center. The Kings have faced both Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom in the two meetings, Miller stopping all 15 shots the Kings fired his way in October, Markstrom 38 of the 40 he faced earlier this month. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings in the teams’ previous meeting. The Kings have not scored a five-on-five goal on the Canucks this season.
AT ROGERS: The Kings earned points in each of their three visits to Vancouver’s Rogers Arena last season, posting a 2-0-1 record; it was just the fourth time in franchise history the Kings strung together a point streak in Vancouver of three games or more: April 4, 1971 – January 2, 1972 (3-0-0), April 2, 1989 – January 23, 1990 (2-0-0-2), November 9, 1998 – April 5, 2001 (2-0-1-1). Can the Kings tie the franchise mark by earning a point or two tonight in Vancouver?
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 6:30 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from Rogers Arena for puck drop just after 7:00. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.