Tonight marks the second of five meetings with the Canucks this season, and the second of three at STAPLES Center. Vancouver is capping off of a four-game road trip, where they’ve gone 1-1-1 thus far, they’re coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks Monday night. The Kings are playing the second of a four-game home stand tonight, they’re coming off of a 3-2 OT win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Jordan Weal and Derek Forbort remained on the ice for extra work, and are expected to be healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick was the first goaltender to leave the ice, and will start in net.
PEARSON – KOPITAR – GABORIK
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – SHORE – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – ANDREOFF – NOLAN
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – MCBAIN
PACIFIC PUSH: Following tonight’s game, the Kings will play Eastern Conference opponents in each of their next eight contests. The Kings are 3-4-0 against Pacific Division opponents this year, where they sit at the top of the group with 29 points. Vancouver, with 25 points, is at fourth in the Pacific. The division is extremely tight, with the fifth-place Anaheim Ducks just six points out of first place. Can the Kings remain atop their division with a win against the Canucks tonight?
MARKING JACOB: With the Canucks playing the second of a back-to-back set, Jacob Markstrom is expected to get the start in net for Vancouver, his fourth of the season. In his three starts, Markstrom has posted a 1-1-1 record, stopping 93 of 103 shots faced. Markstrom saved the only shot he faced Monday night in Anaheim when he played the final 11:21 minutes in relief of Ryan Miller. Markstrom, in his seven years in the NHL, has never appeared in a game against the Kings.
OVERTIME OBSTACLE: The Canucks come into tonight’s game with the most losses after regulation (7) than any other team in the NHL. Vancouver is winless in the overtime period (0-6), and have picked up their only win after regulation in the shootout (1-1). The Kings are 3-0 in overtime periods this season, and 1-1 in shootouts.
BABY VS BLOGGER: Who does TRH baby pick to win tonight’s game? Read the entire Royal Half Gameday Preview HERE!
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting with the Canucks on October 13 at STAPLES Center, they fell 3-0. For the Kings, it’s the only game where they’ve been shut out this season. Adam Cracknell and Alexander Edler scored second period goals for Vancouver, while Derek Dorsett added an empty-netter in the final minutes of the third. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves on 25 shots faced in the loss. The Kings have lost their last two games to the Canucks on home ice, and are 4-2-0 against the Canucks at STAPLES Center dating back to the start of the 2013-’14 campaign. WE’RE DOING IT LIVE:
Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop just after 7:30. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans
call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC