LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (NEWS1130) – The Vancouver Canucks are in the Golden State today getting ready to take on the L.A. Kings in Game Six of their first round NHL playoff series. The momentum pendulum is swinging in the Canucks’ direction pretty heavily after Friday night’s 7-2 drubbing.
With a Game Six win, the Canucks will advance to the second round for the third time under head coach Alain Vigneault. With a loss, Game Seven will take place Tuesday night in Vancouver.
Just to add a little salt to the wound, the Canucks also went 2-0 in the fight department and to spray a little bactine in that wound, Kings forward Rich Clune will be in the press box nursing what coach Terry Murray is calling a ‘stinger.’
Clune went straight to the dressing room favouring his shoulder after a tilt with Rick Rypien at the end of the third period. He will be replaced with size and strength in the form of 6’4″ 240 lb Raitiz Ivanans. The burly forward played in game one and that’s all, he logged six minutes of ice time and failed to get his name on the scoresheet.
Thus far, the biggest difference between the Canucks and Kings is Vancouver’s recent production from some once thought dormant players.
Steve Bernier opened the scoring last game and has three goals so far, which is not the most on the Canucks but it does tie him with Michael Handzus and Fredrik Modin who share the leading goal scorer title for the Kings.
Kyle Wellwood also has three points to call his own and Pavol Demitra is showing some Olympic flare, he has two goals and three assists in the five games.
A look at the roster has Mikael Samuelsson back with the Sedin twins. Alex Burrows, who is without a point in this series, is back with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond.
While Pavol Demitra, Steve Bernier will be centered by Kyle Wellwood on the third line and Tanner Glass and Jannik Hansen will be centered by Rick Rypien.
The team also recalled another spare part from Manitoba, in the form of defenceman Lawrence Nycholat. Nycholat notched 22 points (5-17-22) in 37 regular season games for the Moose.
The puck drops at 6 p.m. at the Staples Centre, and remember we’ll have Canucks Scoreboards every 10 minutes on the fives, breaking news alerts as soon as a goal is scored and Ann Schmaltz will join us live from L.A. with period updates.