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Canucks must solve Kings' power play

by Dave Lozo

(Kings lead best-of-seven series, 2-1)

Big story:
It's all about the Kings' power play. It's 7-for-12 and has been the difference in this matchup. If the Canucks don't find a way to stop it, this could wind up being a short series.

Team scope:

Canucks: They have the experience, they have the edge at even-strength, but if the penalty-killing continues to give up goals at this pace, it will be another disappointing playoff for Vancouver.

"We've got some really good players that kill penalties for us that have done a great job through my time here," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "And for whatever reason right now, we're maybe a half a second behind, and that half a second behind is opening up lanes where they're getting point shots, and the point shots are either getting tipped or finding the back of our net. We're going to spend a little time with our group here in the next little while and hopefully we'll get it back on track."
Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 16 shots in Game 3, but he's not worried about a repeat performance in Game 4. In his last two games at Staples Center, he's allowed 12 goals in less than five periods.

"I know he's going to bounce back," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "I know Luongo. We traded for him when I was (coaching) in Florida. I know his character. He's going to bounce back with his 'A' game. And we're going to have to be prepared for it."

The unreal power play has been the story. Seven goals with the man-advantage in three games is hard to ignore. But the players know they can't stay that hot for the entire series and want to see improvement at 5-on-5.

"We're going to have to be able to score at even-strength," defenseman Jack Johnson said. "You're not going to get a lot of power plays in the playoffs. Fortunately right now we're taking advantage of it."

"I know from our side of it we're moving the puck very crisply," Murray said. "We got traffic, we got shots, we've got good chemistry going on right now and we're having good results because of that."

Who's hot:
For the Canucks, Mikael Samuelsson is doing what was expected when he was signed during the offseason. His four goals in three games are tied for second in the League in the postseason.

Johnson and Drew Doughty are leading the attack on the power play. They've combined for nine points (1 goal, 8 assists) in three games.

Injury report: Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome is day-to-day after suffering an undisclosed injury near the end of Game 3. … Kings defenseman Randy Jones, who has been on the bench since Game 1, will return to the lineup in place of Peter Harrold, who is sitting with an undisclosed injury.

Stat pack: Canucks forward Alex Burrows was on the ice for all three of the Kings' power-play goals in Game 3. … Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, a big question mark entering the series, is sixth among playoff goaltenders with a .918 save percentage.

Puck drop: "It's all about making adjustments. We're going to take a look at some film and get together and make adjustments. That's what a playoff series is all about. Just like L.A. made adjustments off of the first game, we have got to make some adjustments now." -- Luongo, on solving the Canucks' penalty-killing woes.

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