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March 2, 2013 3:28 pm

Game 19 Preview: Los Angeles at Vancouver

Projected Starting Goaltender, Los Angeles – Jonathan Quick
Season: 14 GP (14 GS) / 6-5-2 record / 2.42 GAA / .906 Sv% / 0 SHO
Career vs Vancouver: 15 (15) / 6-8-1 / 1.97 / .928 / 0
Last Game vs Vancouver: 1/28/13 / 64 MP / 21/23 shots / W
2012-13, Away: 9 (9) / 3-4-1 / 2.60 / .909 / 0

Projected Starting Goaltender, Vancouver – Cory Schneider
Season: 10 (10) / 5-4-1 / 2.72 / .908 / 1
Career vs Los Angeles: No regular season appearances
Last Game vs Los Angeles: No regular season appearances
2012-13, Home: 5 (5) / 2-3-0 / 3.34 / .888

Leading Scorers, Los Angeles
Total Points: Anze Kopitar (6-11=17)
Goals: Jeff Carter (11-2=13)
Assists: Anze Kopitar (6-11=17)
Plus/Minus: Slava Voynov (+12; 3-6=9)
Penalty Minutes: Mike Richards (30; 4-9=13)

Leading Scorers, Vancouver
Total Points: Daniel Sedin (7-13=20)
Goals: Daniel Sedin (7-13=20)
Assists: Henrik Sedin (3-15=18)
Plus/Minus: Henrik Sedin (+12; 3-15=18)
Penalty Minutes: Dale Weise (36; 1-1=2)

A stick tap goes to: Alex Edler. The 6-foot-3 Swede struggled in last year’s playoff series before rebounding with a team-best average ice time of 23:42 and anchoring a reliable defense. He signed a six-year, 30-million dollar contract extension in January, adding more stability to a blueline that has also locked up Kevin Bieksa (through 2016), Dan Hamhuis (through 2016) and Jason Garrison (through 2018).

A fist shake goes to: Cory Schneider. For Kings fans, there are certainly several other names that would suffice in this column. But from someone who had previously dubbed him as “Jonathan Quick’s Sochi Backup”, I had been expecting more from a goaltender who hasn’t yet proven that he can handle number-one type minutes in this league. Schneider was excellent in relief in last year’s playoff series, but there’s more work to be done before he can make an honest claim for a spot on Team USA’s roster at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Why the Kings need to win this game: Los Angeles is about to play 17 games in 30 nights and they’d like to open the stretch on a positive note. As rosy as things have seemed lately, they have as many points as the Western Conference’s 10th place team, Dallas. This is a rivalry game determined by on-ice results, rather than geographical proximity.

Rankings and Statistics
Goals/Game: LAK – 19 / 2.56; VAN – 16 / 2.74
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 6 / 2.28; VAN – 12 / 2.53
Power Play: LAK – 21 / 15.5%; VAN – 12 / 17.7%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 15 / 81.6%; VAN – 21 / 79.7%
Shots/Game: LAK – t-13 / 29.5; VAN – t-21 / 28.0
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 25.4; VAN – t-11 / 28.0
Faceoffs: LAK – 8 / 51.3%; VAN – 22 / 49.2%

Projected Lines – Los Angeles
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Trevor Lewis – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner – Jarret Stoll – Dwight King
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Keaton Ellerby – Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Notes: A significant question is whether Alec Martinez is re-inserted into the lineup. He will be on the ice for warm-ups. If he goes, it will likely be in place of Keaton Ellerby as a method of matching up against Vancouver’s team speed. Considering the five-game winning streak and some of Darryl Sutter’s comments from practice and this morning’s skate, I’m leaning towards Ellerby remaining in the lineup and Martinez’s presence used a vehicle for added competition amongst the defense.

Projected Lines – Vancouver
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Alex Burrows
Chris Higgins – Mason Raymond – Jannik Hansen
David Booth – Maxim Lapierre – Zack Kassian
Tom Sestito – Jordan Schroeder – Dale Weise

Alex Edler – Chris Tanev
Dan Hamhuis – Kevin Bieksa
Keith Ballard – Jason Garrison

Cory Schneider
Roberto Luongo

Notes: The biggest question for Vancouver surrounds the availability of Kevin Bieksa, who has missed two games with a groin strain and is a game-time decision for tonight. Also to consider: the Canucks are playing the first of back-to-back games. “If I feel good enough to play, I should feel good enough to play back-to-backs,” he told reporters this morning. If he is unable to go, Dan Hamhuis may play alongside Jason Garrison, with Andrew Alberts shifting in alongside Keith Ballard. Mason Raymond has shifted to center in the absence of Ryan Kesler, who is sidelined with a foot injury. Tom Sestito, claimed off waivers from Philadelphia yesterday, is poised to make his Vancouver debut.

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