National Hockey League action on Wednesday evening and a pair of teams from the Pacific Division will square off as the Los Angeles Kings grapple with the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canucks took three of the four meetings between these teams last year.
The Kings are off a 4-3 OT win at Calgary to move to 1-1 on the year while the Canucks are now at 0-2 on the young season after falling 3-0 at Calgary.
Kings Stun The Flames On The RoadThe Los Angeles Kings had the 2nd fewest points in the league last year at 71 and they are not projected to be a whole lot better this year. They began the season with a 6-5 loss at Edmonton, but they were able to bounce back with a 4-3 OT win over the Flames on the road last night. It was a shocking win, considering the fact that the Kings were +200 dogs in the contest. The Kings had a lack of talent last year, but they could post a few more wins this year if Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, and Anze Kopitar all have bounce-back seasons. That still won't put LA into the playoff race, but it could make them a bit more respectable. Doughty had just eight goals last year, but he has two goals already this year after notching the game-winner at the 50-second mark of OT in the win over the Flames. Also scoring in the win was Tyler Toffoli, Sean Walker, and Ilya Kovalchuk.
Grabbing the win was Jack Campbell, who stopped 26 of the 29 shots that he faced. Getting the nod in this one will be Jonathan Quick and he went 16-30 with a 3.38 GAA for the Kings last year, including 5-15 with a 3.84 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 129-148 with a 2.56 GAA on the road and 47-28 with a 2.30 GAA during the month of October, plus 18-20 with a 1.80 GAA against the Canucks. Last year, the Kings went 14-27 on the road and they averaged 2.20 gpg and allowed 3.17 gpg in those games. Los Angeles was 27th in the league in power-play conversions at 15.8% and 29th in penalty kill at 76.5% last year.
Canucks Are Looking For Their First WinThe Vancouver Canucks have not made the postseason in each of the last four years and this year could be no different, despite the fact that they will be better than last year. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson are young players with a ton of talent and they both showed that last year. The Canucks also added JT Miller, who scored 13 goals for Tampa Bay last year and rookie Quinn Hughes will be here for the whole season after being taken with the 7th overall pick in the 2018 draft. The offense should be better, but the Canucks still have questions on defense and in the crease. Having said that, they are off to a 0-2 two start and have scored a total of two goals in their first two games. The offense could get on track against Jonathan Quick who had a 3.84 GAA on the road last year. The Canucks are off a 3-0 loss to the Flames on the road, despite the fact that they outshot the Flames 34-30 in the contest.
Absorbing the loss to the Flames was Jacob Markstrom, who allowed two goals on 29 shot attempts to fall to 0-2 with a 2.57 GAA so far this year. Last year, Markstrom was 28-32 with a 2.77 GAA overall, including 17-15 with a 2.75 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 48-62 with a 2.84 GAA in his home games and 14-19 with a 2.68 GAA during the month of October, plus 3-6 with a 2.83 GAA against the Kings.Vancouver went 20-21 here at home last year and they averaged 2.90 gpg and allowed 3.02 gpg in those games. Last year, the Canucks ranked 22nd in the league in power-play conversions at 17.1% and 11th in penalty kill at 81.1%.
The Kings Are:
- 4-10 in their last 14 vs. the Pacific.
- 8-21 in their last 29 games playing on 0 days rest
The Canucks Are:
- 7-2 in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning % below .400