This will be the fifth playoff series all-time between the Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks won 4-1 in the 1982 division finals. The Kings won 4-2 in the 1991 first round. The Kings won 4-2 in the 1993 division finals. The Canucks won 4-2 in the 2010 first round. This season, in four regular-season meetings the Kings went 2-2-0 against the Canucks, with one win coming in a shootout. Here’s a brief recap of each of this season’s games, followed by some initial reaction from Darryl Sutter, Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi about facing the Canucks in the upcoming series…
Nov. 10 at Staples Center: Canucks 3, Kings 2
Vancouver scored twice in the game’s first 7 minutes, 33 seconds, including a 5-on-3 goal, and the Canucks led 3-0 after the first period. The Kings made it close with Dustin Brown’s second-period goal and with Mike Richards’ goal, with 1:10 remaining in the third period and the Kings’ net empty.
Dec. 31 at Staples Center: Kings 4, Canucks 1
Brad Richardson scored to tie the game 1-1 at the 9:13 mark of the first period, then the Kings got second-period goals from Matt Greene and Anze Kopitar to take a 3-1 lead.
Jan. 17 at Rogers Arena: Kings 3, Canucks 2 (shootout)
The Kings took a 2-1 lead into the third period, thanks to Justin Williams’ second-period power-play goal, but David Booth the the game five minutes into the third period. Williams and Mike Richards scored in the shootout to give the Kings the extra point.
March 26 at Rogers Arena: Canucks 1, Kings 0
Manny Malhotra scored 3:05 into the first period, and Roberto Luongo made it stand up as he made 38 saves in the shutout victory.
SUTTER: “I think there are probably a lot of similarities between (the Canucks) and the Sharks, quite honestly. They’re really good offensive teams, really good power plays. We’ve got our hands full.’’
MITCHELL: “I was on the other side of the equation [in 2010] before I joined the Kings. On this side, for the Kings, it was kind of their first taste of the postseason in a while. It kind of created some, not hatred, but a small rivalry I guess on the Kings’ behalf, probably less on the Canucks’ behalf. I’ve always said that you’ve got to become a good team before you get involved in rivalries, because you’ve got to get to the postseason and play other teams a number of times. True rivalries are probably more along the lines of Vancouver-Chicago in the last couple years. I really haven’t thought about it too much. It’s a great team. I know their team very well. Good coaches, good management, a team that likes to compete, that’s got two good goalies. I could probably say that about the other seven teams in the conference right now.’’
SCUDERI: “We’ll go back on the tapes and take a look at the games, see the things we did well and look at areas that they exploited on us. We’ll try to seal those up and hopefully have a tight match. … When you’re playing each other every other day, it’s important that you know their tendencies and know where they’re going to go. Not that you would anticipate or cheat, but at the same time, to get a good feel for your opponent. I’m sure they’re going to do the same thing with us.’’