Los Angeles Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks – Playoff Race Continues On The Road Again


Monday night the Los Angeles Kings playoff race continues on the road against the Vancouver Canucks.  Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PST at Rogers Arena.

The Kings are on a hot streak coming into the game, winning their last two contests.

Vancouver is coming off a tough 5-4 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.  It was a game Vancouver needed to win to clinch a playoff spot, and frankly would have helped the Kings out.  Now none of that matters.

The Canucks are 2-2-1 in their last 5 games.  Very average, not very impressive.

It’s the last time the two Pacific Division teams will meet this season.  In their previous four games the Kings have ruled the ice.  L.A. is  3-1-0 against the Canucks this season, winning both games played in Vancouver.  The Kings have outscored Vancouver 13-7 over the four game period.

The only bad news is Vancouver won the most recent game 4-1 on March 21st in Los Angeles.

There should be no changes to the lines.  L.A.’s lineup is expected to be as follows:

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings /

Los Angeles Kings


Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams

Dwight King – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford – Nick Shore – Jordan Nolan


Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr – Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb – Matt Greene


Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

The Kings starting goaltender is expected to be Jonathan Quick.  It’s more than likely that Quick will be between the pipes until L.A. clinches a playoff spot.  That might not be until the last game of the season.

Quick is currently on pace to start 72 games this season.  That’s a huge workload for a goaltender that played in 26 of a possible 28 games during last year’s playoffs.

Especially a goaltender that played through an injury and required surgery after the playoffs.

Being the true star he is Quick has soldiered through the season playing well.

As of right now it seems like defensemen Andrej Sekera will be out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season.

In Sekera’s place the Kings have, and will continue to dress Brayden McNabb.  McNabb has come into his own this season.  He looks comfortable on the ice, has adapted well to the style of play in the Western Conference, and the L.A. Kings system.

In 61 games this season McNabb has 1 goal, 22 assists, 23 points, and is a +10.  McNabb’s plus/minus is probably the biggest indicator that he’s adjusting well, and is ready to step into a more regular role on the L.A. blue line.

Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar are tearing up the scoreboard.

Vancouver players to keep an eye on:

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  • Nick Bonino was on a tear for a while.  The Canucks second-line center has contributed quite a bit to the team this season.  Despite the big drop off in points from Vancouver’s top-three, Bonino is ranked 4th on the team.  In 72 games Bonino has 15 goals, 22 assists, 37 points, a +5 rating, 1 power-play goal and 6 game-winning goals.

    Bonino is a playmaking power-forward.  The Canucks are looking for Bonino to continue his upward progression and fill the gap that was left by the departure of Ryan Kesler.

    In his last 5 games Bonino has 2 goals and 5 points.

    In his rookie season Bo Horvat has 13 goals for Vancouver.  Horvat has contributed another 10 assists to give him 23 points in 65 games, but he’s also a -8.  It could be a decent start for the improving rookie.  Keep on eye out for #53.

    Then there’s the Vancouver regulars:  the Sedin twins, and Alexandre Burrows.

    The Sedin twins are stars.  Burrows is a scumbag.

    The Sedin twins are, as usual, the Canucks top two scorers in points.  With their playmaking abilities they’ve helped their linemate and new team addition, Radim Vrbata to his second 30-goal scoring season in his 14-year career.

    Burrows has 18 goals, 33 points and 66 penalty minutes.  That put Burrows tied for 2nd in goal scoring, and in 4th on the team in penalty minutes.  Of course we all remember the famous biting incident from the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals Game 1.

    L.A. needs to avoid this dirtbag, stay out of the box, not get sucked down into the nonsense and play their game.

    We all know this is one of the biggest games of the season.  The Kings must come away with a win.  A regulation win puts the Kings 1 point behind the Canucks in the Pacific Division.

    Also, root for the Minnesota Wild tonight.  Minnesota hosts the Winnipeg Jets at 5:00 p.m. PST tonight.  With a Kings win and a Minnesota win in regulation L.A. will have a 2-point lead on the Jets for the 2nd Wild-Card spot.

    Mar 12, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Ronalds Kenins (41) reaches for the puck against Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene (2) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports