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Preview: Canucks at Kings

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

The Los Angeles Kings hope the comforts of home will help reverse their fortunes as they begin a five-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Los Angeles returns to the Staples Center following a four-game road trip during which it was shut out twice and scored a total of four goals in going 0-4-0. The Kings have lost five in a row overall dating back to Dec. 23, when it dropped a 5-2 home decision to Dallas.

Vancouver could have its No. 1 goaltender back as it attempts to end a two-game skid (0-1-1). Roberto Luongo, who has been sidelined since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 22 against Winnipeg, is expected to play either Saturday or at Anaheim on Sunday. Rookie Eddie Lack has gone 1-1-1 in Luongo's absence.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, CBC, FSN West (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (23-12-7): Luongo, who went 5-1-1 before getting hurt, was pleased with how he felt after practice on Friday but isn't sure when he'll be back in the crease. "I felt good out there," he told the team's website. "Don't know yet what's going on for (Saturday), but yeah, good to go." The Canucks have scored two goals or fewer in five of their last six contests, going 3-2-1 in those games.

ABOUT THE KINGS (25-13-4): While Los Angeles has struggled offensively during its skid, scoring a total of six goals in the five losses, it has played fairly well on defense - allowing three goals or fewer in four of the contests. The Kings are hoping to avoid their first six-game losing streak since Dec. 12-26, 2007, when they dropped eight in a row. Captain Dustin Brown, who is enduring a difficult offensive season, has scored one goal in his last 12 games.

OVERTIME

1. The Pacific Division rivals split the first two meetings this season, with each winning at home.

2. Kings G Martin Jones was named Co-Rookie of the Month for December after going 8-2-0 with three shutouts and a 1.29 goals-against average. He shared the honors with Chicago G Antti Raanta, who was 8-1-3 with one blanking and a 2.23 GAA.

3. Canucks C Ryan Kesler is mired in a 10-game goalless drought.

PREDICTION: Canucks 4, Kings 1

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140104/preview-canucks-at-kings