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Game Day Watch, 1/23: Kings, Canucks, and Chasing the Game

LA is doing that first-goal-allowed thing again, a lot.

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks

HOW TO WATCH

Game Time: 7:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription), NHL.com (free game of the day)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

if you’re a Kings fan: Much like Jonathan Quick, you might have facepalmed quite a bit on Sunday, even with LA pulling out a win.

LA can’t avoid early-game deficits, or even mid-game ones, and despite a successful comeback on Sunday, this can’t continue. The Kings’ results could argue that point, though, especially against Vancouver.

if you’re a Canucks fan: The Canucks have faced LA twice. They trailed 2-0 three minutes into the first matchup and came back to win, then lost 4-3 despite holding an early 1-0 and a slightly later 3-2 lead. It’s been a tough season for the Canucks, whose offense and defense are both near the bottom of the league. On Sunday, they held an opponent under two goals for the first time since December 5, but that only made their 1-0 loss more frustrating. Jacob Markstrom steps back in for Anders Nilsson, who started that game.

if you’re a hockey fan: You’re watching because it’s NHL.com’s free game of the day! If you are, you’re probably paying more attention to LA, who’s in an honest-to-goodness playoff race all of a sudden. At least it’ll probably be close, for your sake.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

for the Kings: Quick. He’s been beaten in the first period in four of his last five starts, though the one in which he wasn’t (against Anaheim) was the one he would’ve been least blamed for giving up the lead in. The trend is threatening to sink his best season since 2012, and even if he needs more help from his team, he can be better.

for the Canucks: Markstrom. The Canucks’ starter has a .908 save percentage this season, which would be a career-low, but not by much. With 22-year-old Thatcher Demko thriving in the AHL, this might be Markstrom’s last year to prove he belongs, and with a $3.67 million price tag until 2020, he needs to play better to be valuable.

WATCH LISTEN TO THIS

We recorded a podcast yesterday, and though we had a couple technical issues, we spent a lot of time talking about what ailed the Kings recently and whether Saturday’s win foreshadows a turn around. Listen here.