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Canucks at Kings preview

Los Angeles will move back into playoff position with win against Vancouver

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (25-35-9) at KINGS (37-26-5)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNP, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Los Angeles Kings will try to move back into a Stanley Cup Playoff position when they play the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center on Monday.

The Kings are fourth in the Pacific Division, one point behind the third-place Anaheim Ducks, and one behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. 

The Kings matched their season-high in goals allowed in a 7-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, falling to 3-4-0 in their past seven home games.  

The Canucks are playing the second of a back-to-back set after a 1-0 loss at the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. Vancouver is seventh in the Pacific Division, 21 points behind Colorado, and has scored three goals in its past three games (0-3-0).

 

Players to watch

Kings center Jeff Carter has six points (four goals, two assists) in seven games since Feb. 24, when he returned after missing 55 games because of surgery to repair a tendon in his leg.

Forward Brendan Leipsic has six points (two goals, four assists) in six games since he was traded to the Canucks by the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 26.

 

They said it

"It's March, it's no surprise how we need to play. We need a good start, especially in this building where they come out hard. We have to start tonight playing with the urgency we ended with last night." -- Canucks defenseman Michael Del Zotto

"I think he's feeling pretty good, yeah. He's doing what he usually does." -- Kings forward Tyler Toffoli on Jeff Carter

 
Canucks projected lineup

Brendan Leipsic -- Bo Horvat -- Sam Gagner

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Nikolay Goldobin

Darren Archibald -- Brandon Sutter -- Jake Virtanen

Reid Boucher -- Nic Dowd -- Tyler Motte

Alexander Edler -- Erik Gudbranson

Michael Del Zotto -- Troy Stecher

Alex Biega -- Derrick Pouliot

Anders Nilsson

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Ben Hutton, Jussi Jokinen

Injured: Chris Tanev (leg), Brendan Gaunce (foot)

 

Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tobias Rieder -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis

Adrian Kempe -- Kyle Clifford -- Torrey Mitchell

Alex Iafallo -- Nate Thompson -- Tyler Toffoli

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Dion Phaneuf -- Alec Martinez

Jake Muzzin -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Paul LaDue, Michael Amadio, Kevin Gravel

Injured: None

 

Status report

The Kings experimented with line changes Sunday, but it isn't clear if coach John Stevens will put them into action after optional skate on Monday. The biggest moves would be the breakup of "That 70s Line," with Pearson elevated to the top line with Kopitar and Brown, and Toffoli dropped to the third line.

 

Stat pack

Kopitar has four assists during a three-game point streak. … The Canucks are 3-5-0 in the second of a back to back.

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