Canucks-Kings Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Kings can record their fourth win over the Vancouver Canucks in a single season for the first time in 23 years. But given their recent offensive struggles, they might need another strong performance from Jonathan Quick to accomplish the feat.

Los Angeles hopes to back Quick with more goals Monday night against visiting Vancouver.

The Kings (27-14-5) have won all three meetings thus far, including two matchups at home by a combined 8-2 score. In a 3-1 victory on Jan. 4, Los Angeles outshot the Canucks 49-28 and Jeff Carter scored two goals.

After being out since Nov. 12 with a strained groin, Quick returned against the Canucks and stopped 27 shots to help the Kings' end a five-game losing streak. He's saved 64 of 67 shots in his last three starts versus Vancouver.

Los Angeles, which hasn't beaten Vancouver four times in a single season since going 5-3-0 in 1990-91, comes off a 3-1 home loss to Detroit on Saturday, its seventh defeat in nine games. The Kings outshot the Red Wings 45-26, marking their third straight loss in which they outshot their opponent. They claimed a 40-17 advantage in a 2-1 shootout loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.

Drew Doughty's first-period power-play goal was just the second for Los Angeles on 21 chances with the man advantage over the last five games.

"We outshot them, but we had some scoring opportunities that we didn't get a good shot off,'' center Anze Kopitar said. "We were trying to do too much, and in a situation like that, we've got to make sure we get a good shot off so that whoever's a couple of feet from the net can try to get the rebound. We just have to bear down a lot better."

The Kings have scored two or fewer goals seven times over the last nine games. Justin Williams and Kopitar - their second- and third-leading scorers - have combined for just four goals during that stretch.

"You can't win every game 1-0 or 2-1," Williams said. "Certainly we had enough chances to win the game tonight, but we didn't do it. The onus is on us to put the puck in the back of the net."

The Canucks (24-13-9), who are two points behind Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division, ended a five-game skid with a 2-1 home win over St. Louis on Friday.

Coach John Tortorella seemed to strike gold with his decision to promote Zac Dalpe from the fourth line to the first to play with the Sedin twins while Mike Santorelli was switched out to the fourth line. Dalpe scored the game's first goal early in the second period, while Santorelli broke a 1-1 tie with his 10th goal of the season in the third.

"I wasn't good enough early on," said Santorelli, who hadn't registered a point during the losing streak while posting a minus-6 rating. "Too many turnovers, so (the demotion to the fourth line) was deserving."

Vancouver had surrendered at least four goals four times during its losing streak before Eddie Lack made 30 saves in place of the injured Roberto Luongo.

"It stops the bleeding for a day or two,'' said Tortorella, who was coaching the 900th game of his career. "Hopefully this will help us a little bit as we try and get some traction."

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