Kings-Canucks: Game 3 Playoff Preview

Since we last played the Vancouver Canucks on their turf...

IN: Dale Weise, Corey Schneider (Canucks); Andrei Loktionov (Kings)

OUT: Daniel Sedin (concussion), Byron Bitz (suspension); Kyle Clifford (concussion)

Enemy Reading: Nucks Misconduct

Lineups:

Raymond-Sedin-Burrows
Lapierre-Kesler-Booth
Higgins-Pahlsson-Hansen
Weise-Malhotra-Kassian

Hamhuis-Bieksa
Edler-Salo
Ballard-Tanev

Schneider

Kings lineup:


Brown-Kopitar-Williams
King-Richards-Carter
Penner-Stoll-Lewis
Loktionov-Fraser-Nolan

Scuderi-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Martinez-Greene

Quick

As many guessed long ago, the Canucks are switching things up in net. Goaltending was not Vancouver's real issue, but the Kings' gameplan appears to be the same: make it more difficult for whoever's in net to see shots in the first place.

All the players seem on message: tighten things up 5v5, reduce turnovers, treat this like Game 1, get pucks in deep. A secondary story will be how they handle the crowd's energy and emotion this time around. Staples Center gets rocking, and you sense that the players really want to deliver a win for the fans. Intellectually, they know their best chance to do so involves sticking to their own game instead of turning it into a 'track meet.' Reality in the heat of battle has been tougher. Adrenaline will be flowing, but they must find balance.

This is a deeper, stronger team than they've had in years. They've been a better home team under Sutter. They can get more of the matchups they want. I think he can keep them on task.

Although the power play has been clicking and the penalty killing has been brilliant, we've yet to see the Kings play as well as they can in every area. Let's hope they put it together tonight.

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