Preview: Los Angeles Kings Vs. Vancouver Canucks

Sheldon SinghContributor INovember 26, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29:  Steve Bernier #18 of the Vancouver Canucks is pursued by Davis Drewiske #44 of the Los Angeles Kings for the puck in the first period at Staples Center on October 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

After being shut out for the second time this season, the Canucks look to bounce back with a fourth consecutive victory over the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Despite scoring 13 goals in winning its previous two games and having their star forward (Daniel Sedin) back from injury, Vancouver (12-11-0) lost 1-0 to surging Chicago on Sunday. It was the fourth loss in six games for the Canucks, who totaled three goals in those defeats.

"It's not easy to score in this league but there's been games this year where we've been lucky, where we've got a few bounces," Henrik Sedin told the Canucks' official Web site. "It takes a lot of hard work to get there. The key is to look at our game and go from there."

With the loss aside, the Canucks should move on with confidence now that Daniel Sedin is back in the lineup after missing 18 games with a broken foot. After being the Canucks' leading scorer with 31 goals in 2008-09, Sedin has yet to score a goal this season, but has four assists in five games thus far.

"I felt fine," Sedin said of his return against Chicago. "I mean, I didn't have the hands I wanted, but that'll come. The timing, it's going to take a few games probably. For a first game (back), I felt pretty good."

Sedin could get back to form Thursday against Los Angeles (14-9-2), which has lost its last two games at GM Place. He has a goal and three assists in his last four against the Kings. Sedin was not on the ice for Vancouver's 2-1 shootout win at Los Angeles on Oct. 29.

Mikael Samuelsson scored in that contest and had a goal with three assists in his previous two games before Sunday's loss.

Vancouver's Roberto Luongo didn't face the Kings earlier this season, but is 8-6-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average against them lifetime. He made 16 saves against Chicago and fell to 8-8-0 with a 2.54 GAA this season.

Los Angeles avoided a third straight loss with a 3-1 victory at Edmonton on Wednesday. Wayne Simmonds had a goal with an assist for his first points in six games for the Kings, winners of three straight on the road.

"We had two games at home that we lost where we didn't work as hard as we should have, so that was our goal (Wednesday), to come in and play a solid 60 minutes," Simmonds told the Kings' official Web site. "I think we did that and it was a big character win for us."

Former Edmonton Oiler Matt Greene scored his first goal of the season which turned out to be the game-winning goal. Alexander Frolov added an empty-netter for his second goal in as many contests. He has eight with six assists in 24 games versus Vancouver.

Jonathan Quick made 22 saves Wednesday night and could be back in net on Thursday for Los Angeles. Quick is 13-8-2 with a 2.72 GAA this season. He's 1-2-1 with a 1.98 all-time versus the Canucks and made 14 saves against them in October. With the situation being back-to-back games, some expected backup goaltender Erik Ersberg to get the start against Vancouver. So far this season, Ersberg has a record of 1-1-0 with a 4.18 GAA, but hasn't started since Nov. 11 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

No Ryan Smyth in the Kings' lineup tonight and that is a good thing for Vancouver since he had 24 points in 23 games while playing on the Kings' top line.The Kings are now 1-2 without him. Pavol Demitra is the only notable Canuck skater left to come off of injured reserve.  According to the Canucks' official Web site, Demitra has been making steady progress and could be back as early as Christmas time.

Thursday's game faces off at 7:00pm PT and can be seen exclusively on Canucks TV Pay-Per-View (HD). Listen live on the TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at