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Preview: Game Day #79, Kings @ Canucks

Let's make things even more interesting than they already are!

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks (Rogers Arena)

Time: 7:00 PM PST

TV: Prime Ticket, NHL Network, SportsNet Pacific

Enemy Reading: Nucks Misconduct

Lineups:

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik–Kopitar–Williams
King–Carter–Toffoli
Brown–Stoll–Lewis
Clifford–Shore–Nolan

Muzzin–Doughty
Regehr–Martinez
McNabb–Greene

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: Richards, McBain, Andreoff; Injured: Pearson, Sekera; Suspended: Voynov

Vancouver Canucks

Sedin–Sedin–Burrows
Higgins–Bonino–Vrbata
Kenins–Horvat–Hansen
Matthias–Vey–Dorsett

Edler–Tanev
Hamhuis–Weber
Sbisa–Bieksa

Lack
(Markstrom)

Scratched: McMillan, Baertschi, Stanton; Injured: Miller, Richardson, Kassian


Obligatory Standings Update (as of April 6, 2015)


Pacific Division Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Anaheim P 80
50
23 7 107
42
2 Vancouver P 79 45
29 5
95 40
3 Calgary P 79 43
29 7 93
39
4 Los Angeles P 78
39 25 14 92
37

Wild Card Standings
Rank Team DIV GP W L OT P ROW
1 Minnesota C 78 44 26 8
96 40
2
Los Angeles P 78
39 25 14 92
37
3
Winnipeg C 78
40
26 12 92
33

(top three seeds in Pacific Division, top two seeds in Wild Card qualify for playoffs)

Game Notes:

  • Hey, we've got ourselves a legitimate .500 team!
  • After a few weeks of maintaining feeble playoff hopes, the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, and Colorado Avalanche have basically been eliminated from contention. (Colorado actually has.) So here we are: two routes for LA to make the playoffs, and four other teams who will be at risk if LA does crack the bubble.
  • Vancouver is unlikely to be the odd team out, but a loss tonight could severely decrease their margin of error. In fact, as incredible as it seems now, the Kings can win out and get the Pacific's second seed, along with home ice in the first round.
  • Sorry about this preview turning into a playoff scenario update... it's just that LA is once again rolling the same lineup. What can I do?!
  • We can speculate that Martin Jones might spell Jonathan Quick tomorrow, given that it's... you know... the Oilers. Is it worth risking a dud performance from Jones to give Quick a break down the stretch? Perhaps. Of course, there was no question that Quick would be taking on tonight's Pacific rival.
  • As Jon Rosen has already pointed out, the prior LA-Vancouver matchup was the first time in four tries that the Canucks cracked 20 shots on goal against the Kings this season. They got 42.
  • Of course, LA's shot-limiting game is on point right now, so try not to worry about that happening again.
  • One more regulation win for the Kings ensures that they'll own a tiebreaker over Winnipeg. If the Canucks finish tied with either Calgary or LA, the tiebreaker could go either way depending on ROWs.
  • Today's player-who-needs-to-do-more: Tyler Toffoli, whose last even strength goal was on February 18. (Three assists at evens in his last four games is good, though.) The last time he faced the Canucks he was ejected for boarding Alex Burrows. That'd be sub-optimal.
  • PREDICTION: Tyler Toffoli does not get ejected.