In the first night of a back-to-back, the Los Angeles Kings (11-7-1) have a chance to grab their second win against the Pacific Division tonight. Facing off against the Vancouver Canucks (5-9-3). Their Wednesday night matchup against the Edmonton Oilers had a playoff feel to it, and the Kings need to bring that same intensity tonight.
With that intensity, the Kings need to repeat their shot-blocking performance from Wednesday. Blocking 29 shots, especially when your goalies are struggling, is always a great way to win games. They also stayed out of the box on Wednesday, allowing just one power play opportunity against.
The Kings are a dominant team 5-on-5. They're top ten in the league for expected goals for percentage, Corsi and Fenwick for at even-strength. Combining that with their subpar penalty kill and staying out of the box is imperative for this team.
Like the Oilers on Wednesday, the Canucks have a deadly power play. Ticking at 29.51%, they'll make you pay if you give them too many opportunities. However, the Canucks also have the league's worst penalty kill, at 63.79%. This game could be decided by special teams and the Kings are dealing with a Canucks team that deals with extremes in this area.
The Kings can't rely on a Trevor Moore hat trick to lead their offense though. They need to get their top line going again. Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe and Gabe Vilardi have combined for just five points between all of them in the last five games. There's good reason to believe this will change. Through this dry spell, the line is still dominating possession and chances, they just can't find the net. Coming up against a team that's allowed the joint second-most goals could be the perfect opportunity to find their touch once again.
Expected LA Kings Lines
Adrian Kempe-Anze Kopitar-Gabe Vilardi
Trevor Moore-Phil Danault-Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala-Rasmus Kupari-Carl Grundstrom
Jaret Anderson-Dolan-Blake Lizotte-Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Anderson-Drew Doughty
Sean Durzi-Matt Roy
Alex Edler-Sean Walker
Expected Vancouver Canucks Lines Per Chris Faber:
J.T. Miller- Bo Horvat-Conor Garland
Andrei Kuzmenko-Elias Pettersson-Ilya Mikheyev
Nils Hoglander-Sheldon Dries-Brock Boeser
Dakota Joshua-Nils Aman-Curtis Lazar/Vasily Podkolzin
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Ethan Bear
Quinn Hughes-Luke Schenn
Riley Stillman-Tyler Myers
Los Angeles Kings Power Play: 15-77, 19.48%, 23rd in NHL
Los Angeles Kings Penalty Kill: 17-68, 75%, 24th in NHL
Vancouver Canucks Power Play: 18-61, 29.51%, 4th in NHL
Vancouver Canucks Penalty Kill: 21-58, 63.79%, 32nd in NHL
Los Angeles Kings Pre-Game Notes:
- Trevor Moore became the first California-born skater to record a hat trick for a California-based team in NHL history.
- Since his NHL debut, no Kings skater has found the back of the net on the man advantage more than Arthur Kaliyev (10).
- At 99 career NHL games, Kaliyev sits one shy of becoming the eighth member of the 2019 NHL Draft class to play in 100 career NHL
The Kings enter tonight’s game with the league’s third-highest special team differential overall at +23:32.
How to Watch:
TV: Bally Sports West, ESPN+ // Radio: iHeartRadio