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Canucks-Kings Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Vancouver Canucks (40-29-7) at Los Angeles Kings (39-31-5).

TIME: Monday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Looking to move closer to a playoff spot, the struggling Los Angeles Kings meet the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center.

The Kings start play with 83 points, tying them with the Sharks for ninth in the Western Conference. Los Angeles and San Jose are three points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Kings will not meet the Oilers anymore during the regular season, but have two games remaining against the Sharks, including the season finale on April 17.

Los Angeles improved to 2-3-0 since head coach Andy Murray was fired and replaced with interim John Torchetti late last month after 1-0 win Saturday over Pacific Division-leading Dallas.

Jeremy Roenick scored the only goal midway through the first period, and Mathieu Garon made 27 saves for his third shutout this season.

"It's like a playoff atmosphere here," said Roenick, who overcame an injured ankle to end a 10-game goal-scoring drought. "If we don't win games it's sayonara for us and nobody in here wants that. (Saturday's) the way we have to play. We have to play defensively and dig games out."

With 87 points, Vancouver is in seventh place in the West, one point behind sixth-place Colorado and three points in back of fifth-place Anaheim.

The Canucks dropped the opener of their two-game Southern California road swing Sunday, falling 6-2 to the Mighty Ducks.

"This team has a bit of a habit of getting comfortable and everyone wants to revert tot he easy way to play," Canucks forward Trevor Linden said. "That's not good enough, especially this time of year ..."

Todd Bertuzzi and Mattias Ohlund scored for the Canucks.

The last time Vancouver faced Los Angeles on March 27, Canucks rookie Alexandre Burrows recorded his first career hat trick.

STANDINGS: Canucks - 87 points, 3rd place, 5 PB, Northwest Division. Kings - 83 points, 3rd place (tied), 19 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canucks - Anson Carter, 31 goals; Henrik Sedin, 54 assists and 72 points; Jarkko Ruutu, 124 PIM. Kings - Mark Parrish, 28 goals; Lubomir Visnovsky, 48 assists and 65 points; Sean Avery, 251 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Canucks - Power play: 17.8 percent (87 for 490), 15th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (387 for 473), 17th. Kings - Power play: 14.7 percent (73 for 496), 27th. Penalty killing: 78.8 percent (353 for 448), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Canucks - Alexander Auld (32-23-5, 0 SO, 2.91 GAA); Mika Noronen (0-2-1, 0, 4.14). Kings - Garon (30-22-3, 3, 3.18); Jason LaBarbera (9-9-2, 0, 3.17).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: March 27; Canucks, 7-4. At Vancouver, British Columbia, Burrows scored two of his three goals in the second period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canucks - 17-20-2 on the road; Kings - 24-12-1 at home.

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