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A first look at Kings vs. Vancouver in NHL playoffs

They split their season series, but the Kings come into the playoffs seeded eighth and lacking 'intensity,' according to their coach. The first-place Canucks have not been spared local criticism.

April 08, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • The Canucks' Dale Weise checks the Kings' Alec Martinez during the first period of a game last month in Vancouver.
The Canucks' Dale Weise checks the Kings' Alec Martinez during… (Darryl Dyck / Associated…)

NHL PLAYOFFS :: FIRST LOOKS

NO. 8 KINGS (40-27-15) vs. NO. 1 VANCOUVER (51-22-9)

They met four times this season, with each team winning twice. One game went to a shootout (Jan. 17), which the Kings won. Two others were decided in regulation by a margin of one goal (Nov. 10 and March 26) and the only one-sided outcome was a contentious meeting on New Year's Eve at Staples Center in which the Kings won, 4-1. That night, Kings center Anze Kopitar ended a career-worst streak of 17 games without a goal. Vancouver and the Kings last played two weeks ago (March 26) at Rogers Arena and the Canucks won, 1-0, marking the 10th time the Kings had been shut out this season.

Top scorers

KINGS: Kopitar 25 goals, 76 points; Justin Williams 22 goals, 59 points; Dustin Brown 22 goals, 54 points.

CANUCKS: Henrik Sedin 14 goals, 81 points; Daniel Sedin 30 goals, 67 points (missed final nine games of season because of concussion); Alexandre Burrows 28 goals, 52 points.

Goaltenders

KINGS: Jonathan Quick: 35-21-13, 1.95 goals-against average, .930 save percentage. He has had three straight seasons of 30-plus wins and recorded a league-leading 10 shutouts.

CANUCKS: Roberto Luongo 31-14-8, 2.41 goals-against average, .920 save percentage. He has had five shutouts this season and his effort in the Canucks' final game of the regular season — a 3-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers was his 60th career shutout — helped Vancouver win the Presidents' Trophy as the league's top team.

Penalty kill

KINGS: 87% (fourth); CANUCKS 86% (sixth).

Power play

KINGS: 17% (17th), CANUCKS 19.8% (fourth).

Worth noting

KINGS: Jeff Carter. Carter, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets only days before the trade deadline in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional draft pick, has been out because of a bone bruise of his ankle. He was injured in the third period at Calgary on March 28 and missed the final five games of the season, but he has resumed skating. The Kings are targeting his return for the playoffs.

CANUCKS: Daniel Sedin. He suffered a concussion after being elbowed in the head by the Chicago Blackhawks' Duncan Keith on March 21. Sedin has been out of the lineup since then but is said to have resumed skating. Vancouver won eight of nine games after Sedin's concussion, but the power play was a significant concern in his absence.

Last time in the playoffs

KINGS: 2011. They lost to San Jose in the first round in six games.

CANUCKS: 2011. They beat Chicago in seven games in the opening round, then Nashville and San Jose to reach the Stanley Cup finals, losing to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

They said it

KINGS: "I didn't see any [playoff] intensity the last two games. Once they announced it the other night, our team was satisfied with being a playoff team. Now it's my responsibility to make sure they're not satisfied anymore," Coach Darryl Sutter after Saturday's overtime loss to the Sharks.

CANUCKS: "Pretty good for a terrible season," Henrik Sedin to reporters Saturday, referring to the frequent local criticism of the first-place team.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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