|NHL Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Friday, 19 October 2007 05:27|
Home ice helps Canucks
The Los Angeles Kings have picked up right where they left off last season - playing dismally on the road.
The Kings look to avoid opening with four straight road losses for the first time in 38 years when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
Los Angeles (2-6-0) was a NHL-worst 11-25-5 on the road last season, allowing a league-high 153 goals away from Staples Center.
Those woes have continued as they've been outscored 13-5 in losing their first three road games of this season. Los Angeles hasn' t started a season with four straight road losses since dropping their first five in 1969-70.
Los Angeles also lost its final five road games in 2006-07, and has been outscored 29-10 during its eight-game road losing streak. The Kings have not dropped nine straight road games since dropping 10 in a row Nov. 9-Dec. 18, 1998.
Last season against the Canucks, Los Angeles went 1-3-0 and split its two games at GM Place. The Kings, though, have had little success in Vancouver, going 8-20-1 with four ties there since 1992-93.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Vancouver -218 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Vancouver -218 (View NHL Bet Percentages).
On Thursday at Calgary, Los Angeles built a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the game, but allowed four straight goals and lost 4-3.
"I don't think that we played terrible but we made a few lazy mistakes in the second period that you can't make against a good team,'' Michael Cammalleri said.
Cammalleri, who scored the Kings' first goal, already has seven in eight games after recording a career-high 34 last season. He did not score a goal in four games against Vancouver in 2006-07, but did tally five assists.
Making his second straight start after returning from a groin injury, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin finished with 25 saves. In his only career start against the Canucks on Feb. 14, 2000 while with Pittsburgh, Aubin made 37 saves for his fourth career shutout in a 3-0 victory.
Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera replaced Aubin at the start of the third period Thursday, and stopped all 11 shots he saw. He has never faced Vancouver.
The Canucks (3-3-0) have struggled at home so far, going 1-3-0 at GM Place this season.
After sweeping a home-and-home series from Edmonton on Friday and Saturday by a combined 9-3 score, Vancouver gave up three goals in a 3:20 span early in the third period of Monday's 4-2 home loss to San Jose.
"We took a couple steps back tonight. We didn't work hard enough and that's something that can never happen with this team," said Henrik Sedin, who scored his second goal of the season. He had five of his single-season franchise-record 71 assists in four games against the Kings last season.
Daniel Sedin assisted on his twin's goal against the Sharks, and has three goals and five assists during a five-game points streak. Daniel Sedin, who led the Canucks with 36 goals last season, had two goals and three assists against Los Angeles in 2006-07.
Roberto Luongo finished with 30 saves on Monday and has started each game for the Canucks this season. Luongo also started each game against the Kings last season, posting a 2.23 goals-against average in those contests. He is 4-3-1 with a 2.51 GAA all-time against Los Angeles.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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