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Tonight can't get much bigger for Kings, Canucks

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



KINGS (32-21-13) at CANUCKS (38-24-4)

7:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

VANCOUVER LIFE: Tonight marks the third of five meetings with Vancouver this season; the Kings beat the Canucks 5-1 on November 8 at STAPLES Center, and 3-2 on January 1 at Rogers Arena. The Canucks are playing the second of a five-game home stand; they’ve won their previous two games and are coming off of a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. The Kings are finishing their two-game road trip tonight; they’re coming off of a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

LINEUP NOTES: Per Jon Rosen, who attended the Kings’ morning skate at Rogers Arena, reported that Jamie McBain and Andy Andreoff remained on the ice for extra work with Martin Jones – so those two are expected to be healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick is expected to make his 57th start of the season tonight.

GABORIK – KOPITAR – LEWS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – STOLL – WILLIAMS
CLIFFORD – SHORE – NOLAN
(ANDREOFF)
-----------------------
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB – SEKERA
(MCBAIN)

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Both the Kings and Canucks are heavily involved in the Western Conference’s tight-knit playoff race. The Kings, with 77 points, sit three behind the Vancouver Canucks, who own the Pacific Division’s second seed. The Kings are two points behind the Calgary Flames, who sit third in the Pacific. With a win tonight, the Kings could surpass the Winnipeg Jets, who they sit only one point behind for the Western Conference’s second and final wild-card spot.

WHAT’S LACKING: Eddie Lack is expected to make his 21st start of the season for the Canucks tonight as he continues to fill the starting role while Ryan Miller continues to recover from a lower-body injury hew sustained on February 22 against the New York Islanders. Lack will be starting his eighth-straight game; he’s stopped 242 of the 259 shots he’s faced (.943 SV%) in the eight games he’s played since Miller’s injury. Lack brings a 10-8-3 record into the night, posting a 2.46 GAA. Lack has made four career appearances against the Kings in his NHL career, two of them starts, posting a 1-1-0 mark.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous visit to Rogers Arena on January 1, they beat the Canucks 3-2. Vancouver took a 2-0 lead, and the Kings responded with three unanswered goals – including two in the final two minutes to secure a 3-2 win. Justin Williams tied the score with 2:03 remaining in regulation, and Jarret Stoll netted the game-winner with 1:14 left in the game. Jonathan Quick made 14 saves in the win.

STOLL ONE

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the KINGS LIVE pregame show at 6:30PM PT 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.

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