As John Tortorella grows more frustrated with his team's inconsistent play, the outspoken coach is trying anything to snap the Vancouver Canucks out of their offensive funk. “We’re just throwing (expletive) at the wall hoping something sticks,” Tortorella said. Vancouver gets another chance to turn its season around while trying to please its volatile coach a little more when it hosts the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
The Canucks, who fell to 1-4-2 following a 2-1 loss to Chicago on Saturday, have scored 13 goals during that span - including a 6-2 victory over Columbus on Friday. The Kings have earned a point in nine straight games (6-0-3), but are coming off back-to-back overtime losses at home to New Jersey (2-1) on Thursday and Colorado (1-0) on Saturday. Ben Scrivens has been superb with a 4-0-3 mark and a 1.15 goals-against average since replacing the injured Jonathan Quick.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), RSN Pacific (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE KINGS (15-6-3): Scrivens is 16-15-5 in his career with a 2.51 goals-against average and .917 save percentage, and drew the praise of someone who knows the position. “He made some great saves for them,” Colorado coach and Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy told reporters. “I thought we had a lot of good chances.” With Quick expected to be sidelined until the end of December, Los Angeles will need Scrivens to keep it afloat in the competitive Pacific Division while continuing to play tight defense as it hasn't allowed more than two goals in regulation over its last nine games.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (12-9-4): Some of Vancouver's recent struggles can be traced to the output of the Sedin twins as Daniel and Henrik have combined for four goals and four assists in their last eight games after totaling 37 points in their first 17 contests. “We have to stay positive and look at the chances we’re creating,” Henrik told reporters after the Chicago game. “But it’s tough.” Alexandre Burrows hasn't scored a goal in the 13 games he has played this season and joined the Sedin line for a stretch against the Blackhawks while replacing Ryan Kesler, who scored against Chicago to snap a seven-game goalless drought.
1. Vancouver's power play is tied for second-worst in the NHL at 11.5 percent while improving slightly (3-for-20) in its last seven games. The Canucks, though, own the league's top penalty-killing unit at 89.2 percent.
2. Daniel Sedin needs one goal for 300 while Kings C Mike Richards, who has one assist in his last six contests, will play his 600th game.
3. The Canucks have lost five straight Western Conference games (0-4-1), beginning with a 5-1 loss at Los Angeles on Nov. 9.
PREDICTION: Canucks 2, Kings 1