Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings (-140, 5)
The Los Angeles Kings wrap up a five-game homestand on Saturday when they host the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings saw their five-game home winning streak come to an end on Thursday when they were blanked 2-0 by Dallas, but are 12-3-1 at Staples Center. Vancouver visited on Jan. 28 and lost 3-2 in a shootout for Los Angeles’ first home victory. The Canucks beat the Kings 5-2 in Vancouver on March 2, which was the beginning of a rough month for Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has allowed four or more goals in three of his last eight starts.
As a result, Jonathan Bernier has seen more time in the Kings’ net, winning two of the four starts during the homestand. Cory Schneider has started the last two games for the Canucks, allowing three goals on 68 shots in two straight victories. Roberto Luongo, who started the previous four, is 2-4-0 in his last six starts and allowed 12 goals over his last three. The Canucks have allowed a power-play goal in three of their last four games, while the Kings have been hot with the man advantage of late, scoring eight times in their last 25 opportunities.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports West, Sportsnet Pacific
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (15-9-6): Defenseman Alexander Edler is suspended for two games after running into Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in Thursday’s 2-1 victory. Vancouver cannot afford to lose a valuable player like Edler, who has 17 points, when its roster is already decimated with injuries to Ryan Kesler (broken foot), David Booth (ankle) and Zack Kassian (back). Chris Higgins missed Thursday’s game with a sore back.
ABOUT THE KINGS (17-11-2): After another poor performance on Thursday, head coach Darryl Sutter called out his top line of captain Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, which was on for both Dallas goals. “They’ve struggled for two or three games that line, probably three in a row now,” Sutter told reporters after the game. Brown has been held without a point in the last three games, while Williams and Kopitar have two assists combined in the last two. Rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin has four goals and 10 points this month and is seeing an increase in power-play time.
* Under is 4-0-3 in the last seven meetings in Los Angeles.
* Over is 6-0-1 in Kings’ last seven Saturday games.
* Kings are 6-1 in their last seven vs. Northwest foes.
* Over is 4-1 in Canucks’ last five games following a win.
1. Prior to Thursday’s loss, the Kings had not been shut out at home in over a year. Their last blanking came on Feb. 18, 2012, against Calgary.
2. Edler has 11 points in 18 career games against Los Angeles.
3. If the playoffs were to start tomorrow, Los Angeles and Vancouver - seeded fourth and fifth - would face each other in the first round. These teams have met in the opening round in two of the last three post-seasons, with Vancouver winning in six games in 2009-10 and Los Angeles winning in five in 2011-12.