VANCOUVER -- The Los Angeles Kings should get a needed scoring boost with Jeff Carter expected back in the lineup Monday night against the Vancouver Canucks after he missed the past 10 games with a broken foot.
Coach Darryl Sutter would only confirm Carter was being activated from the injured list before the game and would be one of 13 forwards to take the pre-game skate.
Carter wasn't available to talk after the morning skate, but it seemed clear from the line rushes he would be back and on the second line. Carter, who had five goals and nine points his first 14 games, returns to a team that scored one goal its past two games, including a 1-0 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Despite the drought, the Kings, who also get big fourth-line forward Jordan Nolan back after he missed four games with an undisclosed injury, have a point in nine straight (6-0-3).
"We have been getting a lot of opportunities, we're just not finishing it off," Sutter said.
That sounds a lot like the Canucks, who are 1-4-2 in their past seven and have scored seven goals in the six losses.
"We can continue talking about this, that, close and chances; we need to find a way to get some points here," coach John Tortorella said. "We know we need to score. We just need to stay with it. The biggest key from a coach's point of view is to keep our spirits up … you can't beat yourself up because then it will turn the wrong way."
Vancouver also has a top-six forward returning, but David Booth is coming back from being a healthy scratch for three games. While there was no official word where Booth would slot into the lineup as Tortorella's line juggling continued, there were some indications he could play on the second line with Ryan Kesler back at center.
Booth scored 31 goals in 2008-09 for the Florida Panthers, but has struggled to stay healthy since, scoring once in 12 games last season before an ankle injury that required surgery, and once in 13 games this season while also missing time to recurring groin problems.
"It's tough, but I have been staying as positive as I can," said Booth, who carries a $4.25-million salary cap hit this season and next, and could be a buyout candidate if he doesn't rediscover some of his old form. "You get an opportunity, now you got to do something with it."
Booth, who is still trying to find the speed that was such a big part of past success, said the key is not trying too hard.
"You want to make your presence felt and sometimes you maybe try to do a little too much and that can't be part of my game," Booth said. "I have to be good in the defensive zone and that leads to good in the offensive zone."
Here are the expected lineups for the Kings and Canucks:
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Daniel Carcillo – Jarret Stoll – Tyler Toffoli
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan
Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr – Slava Voynov
Willie Mitchell – Alec Martinez
Scratched: Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey
Injured: Trevor Lewis (lower body), Matt Frattin (lower body), Jonathan Quick (groin), Matt Greene (upper body)
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Alexandre Burrows
David Booth – Ryan Kesler – Jannik Hansen
Chris Higgins – Mike Santorelli – Zack Kassian
Tom Sestito – Brad Richardson – Dale Weise
Alexander Edler – Jason Garrison
Dan Hamhuis – Christopher Tanev ?????????
Ryan Stanton – Kevin Bieksa
Scratched: Jeremy Welsh, Andrew Alberts, Zac Dalpe
Injured: Jordan Schroeder (foot)