Vancouver Attempts To Dethrone Division Leading Los Angeles Kings Tonight

CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff      December 28, 2015

Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins To Play Tonight

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Vancouver (14-14-9) plays the 2nd of four games against Pacific division opponents tonight as they host the Los Angeles Kings (21-11-2), on their 7-game home stand.

The Canucks enter the game with a 3 game undefeated streak at home (6-6-3), and 7 points in their last 4 games, where they are undefeated going 3-0-1; the last win being on Boxing Day, 2-1 in overtime against the Edmonton Oilers.

Jannik Hansen notched two goals to lead Vancouver to victory. His game winning goal puts him 20th for most GWG’s in franchise history with 16. Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Matt Bartkowski and Jacob Markstrom each had an assist. Vancouver was 3 for 3 on the penalty kill but 0 for 2 on the power play. Adam Cracknell had 8 hits in the game, a season high for any Canuck. Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 or 33 shots.

This marks the longest winning streak at home this season; last year the Canucks posted one four game winning streak (Feb. 7-Mar. 1) at home and two three game winning streaks at Rogers Arena (Apr. 6-11 and Oct. 26-30).

Vancouver sits tied for 3rd place in the Pacific division with Arizona with 37 points, 7 points behind the Kings in 1rst place.

Canucks are a single point ahead of San Jose and Calgary; three points ahead of Edmonton and four points in front of Anaheim.

Vancouver is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.

The game is the third of five meetings this season between the two teams and first to be played in Vancouver. The Kings visit Rogers Arena again on Apr. 4. The Canucks pay a visit to the Staples Center on Mar. 7. The Canucks have a record of 1-0-1 in the season series to date.

Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins are confirmed to play tonight.

Jacob Markstrom will start in net for the Canucks with Joe Cannata backing him up.

Markstrom is 3-5-3 in his last 11 games, with a 2.33 GAA and .924 Sv%. and is 2-0-0 in his last two games with a 0.97 GAA and .967 Sv% in relief for the injured Ryan Miller.

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In the Kings last game, Arizona managed to score twice on a major penalty late in the third period to force overtime against the Los Angeles Kings, but it would  be the Kings scored the eventual winner. Anze Kopitar popped in the winner 36 seconds into the overtime period, for a 4-3 victory.

Los Angeles is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

The Canucks need to tighten up their defensive game, giving up less even strength shots to their opponents and win more face-offs, while getting more shots on opposing goalies.

Canucks were 32 for 66 in the face-off circle against Edmonton; 12 for 25 in the final period and overtime. Which is an improvement over previous games.

Vancouver also needs to come up with an improved power play which has been a let down in recent games. Canucks power play is 0 for 13 in their last seven games, including the 6 games on their recent road trip. The 7 games prior, it was only  4 for 30. In the last 14 games, their power play is 4 for 43 for 9.3 percent.

When it comes to the penalty kill, Vancouver is second best in the Pacific division at home, and continued that strong showing on Saturday night when they were 3 for 3 on penalty kill, which will need to continue to be strong the rest of the season.

Vancouver is 17 for 20: 85.0% on their penalty kill, in their last 4 games, in which they sport a record of  3-0-1.

Vancouver overall is the 3rd most penalized team in the NHL, with 438 minutes. They have the 3rd most penalties handed out (172); the 3rd most minors (148); tied for the 6th most majors (14); the 2nd most miscellaneous at 6.

The Canuck players have to be more disciplined and selective when it comes to taking penalties.

In December, Vancouver is the 2nd most penalized team in the league with 158 penalty minutes in 12 games. They are tied for the most penalties taken with 63; are 1rst in most minors with 56; tied for 5th majors with 4.

Be best for Vancouver not to upset the referees, but if they do, the penalty kill is nearing the best it has ever been. The Canucks are 41 for 49, 83.7% in 12 games this month and 21 for 24 in their last five games for 87.5 percent.

CANUCK JOTTINGS

  • Point Streaks:
    • DANIEL SEDIN (2-1-3 / 3 Games)
    • HENRIK SEDIN (0-2-2 / 2 Games
  • Daniel Sedin (133) and Radim Vrbata (130) rank seventh and eighth in the League, respectively, in shots.
  • Vancouver has a .667 win percentage when scoring three or more goals (10-1-4).
  • The Canucks 21 PPG on the season are t-16th most in the NHL
  • Vancouver has had 122 power play opportunities to date, tied for fourth most of any team in the League; 69 of these opportunities have been drawn on the road (t-1st in the NHL).
  • The Canucks are 16th in the League in blocked shots with 496 and ninth in shots for with 108.
  • The Canucks called up blue-liner Ashton Sautner from Utica (AHL) yesterday although, for the time being, that appears to be just a depth move.
  • On Saturday, despite seven regulars out of the line-up including starting netminder Ryan Miller, the Canucks managed to battle back from a one-goal deficit to earn their first overtime win of the season in the 2-1 victory over the Oilers.
  • Canucks have earned points in four straight (3-0-1), their longest such streak since a five-game run from October 24 to November 2.

SEASON SNAPSHOT

screenshot-canucks nhl com 2015-12-28 10-55-46

screenshot-canucks nhl com 2015-12-28 10-56-43

CANUCKS PLAYERS STATS

screenshot-canucks nhl com 2015-12-28 10-58-07

KINGS PLAYERS STATS

screenshot-kings nhl com 2015-12-28 10-59-19

CANUCKS-KINGS AT A GLANCE

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screenshot-www sportingcharts com 2015-12-28 11-56-39 screenshot-www sportingcharts com 2015-12-28 11-57-18 screenshot-www sportingcharts com 2015-12-28 11-58-28Statistics from the NHL, Vancouver Canucks and SportingCharts, with thanks.

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