Looking to establish a four-game winning streak for the third time this season, the LA Kings are in Vancouver tonight hoping for a repeat of their 3-2 win over the Canucks on Monday.
This is the backend of a home-and-home series for the Kings, while the Canucks faced the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, losing 4-3 in overtime.
Forward Raitis Ivanans has been cleared to play and is expected to slot in on the Kings fourth line alongside Derek Armstrong and Kevin Westgarth, leaving Kyle Calder as the odd man out.
Ivanans suffered an upper body injury in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings and has missed LA’s last five games. The Latvian brute has played 60 games for the Kings this season, recording two goals – both game-winners – and 115 penalty minutes.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for LA forward Oscar Moller as he played for the WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins for two seasons from 2006-08. Moller was a powerhouse with the Bruins, one of six WHL teams in British Columbia, registering 71 goals and 81 assists in only 131 games with the junior club.
Mark Hardy and the rest of the Kings coaching staff stayed on the ice after practice for a quick game of 3-on-3. One of the stars of the game was none other than Kevin Hardy, Mike’s son.
On what’s been doing right for LA these last few games:
"We know we’re still fighting for a playoff spot and we’ve fought for every point we could get lately. After a pretty tough road trip there we knew we wanted to treat that homestand right and be prepared for it and come out strong and use it to our advantage and we got three big wins out of it."
On the effectiveness of the team’s power play of late:
"It’s come a long way. This time of year you need to be able to capitalize on special teams situations and our power play has scored some timely goals and our penalty kill has been doing a great job. Guys are blocking shots and sacrificing for each other and the goaltending’s been coming up with some huge saves so it’s been good."
On facing Vancouver away from home:
"This is a tough building to play in, we’ve got to be ready and focused. They had a tough trip out to California, but they’re going to be ready to go, we know that, and we’ve just got to match their intensity at the start and get the first goal, all those little things that help."
On LA having been on more power plays than any team in the West:
"I don’t think we dive too much, I don’t know, I hope not. I think we’re good on the cycle, we’re a good young team down in the offensive zone and maybe that quickness draws penalties, that’s the only thing I can think of."
On dropping the gloves with Darcy Hordichuk again:
"You never know how the game goes but I would love to do it. He got a bit of a jump on me last time, I don’t know if I was ready, so I’ve got to be ready tonight if he wants to go again."
On playing his superstitions towards playing on Friday the 13th:
"For once it’s not raining here so we can keep the umbrellas down and I’ll keep a look out for ladders and stuff like that and I’ll be fine."
On the team having three days off between games:
"We’re really pounding in a lot of games here towards the end of the season and a lot of them are on the road so it was nice to have a couple light days, we got a day off back in LA which I think was nice for the guys to get a little R&R back at home. "When you’re riding pretty high like we are right now, it’s maybe not the best thing, but you’ve got to make due with that you’ve got."
Compiled by Derek Jory | Special to LAKings.com