Manor Projected Lineups: LA Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks; 1-3-1-ing Their Way Along

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Two down, six to go!

In quite a literal sense, the home stretch is here. Over their final six games of the 2023-24 regular season, the Kings will leave Crypto.com Arena only once for a showdown with the Ducks next week. It’s been discussed at great length already, yet LA has a very real opportunity to up their playoff positioning over the remaining eight-games. By taking the first two contests — even over weaker competition — things are off to a good start.

For head coach Jim Hiller, the focus isn’t the next six winnable games. Instead, all attention is fixed on taking down the Pacific Division-leading Canucks one last time tonight. On paper, this is the toughest opponent LA has remaining on their schedule. Even so, the Kings have found success against the Canucks this year, holding a 2-0-1 record vs. head coach Rick Tocchet and his group.

For whatever reason, the Kings seem to get under the skin of the Canucks every time they play. Listening to how Vancouver talks about LA, they often mention a need to stay patient against the 1-3-1 structure utilized by Hiller’s club. Frustration has been prevalent for the Canucks over the course of the regular season series, and the Kings will look to put an exclamation to that storyline tonight on home ice.

Injuries are always a storyline heading into the postseason. Phil Danault and Carl Grundstrom have yet to return to action. Neither individual traveled to San Jose a couple of days ago, but Danault could potentially draw back in tonight. Sure, the Kings would love to have both players back and healthy tonight, yet there definitely seems to be a feeling of caution as Game 83 is drawing nearer.

Just how good has Doughty been this year?

Top-10 defensive ratings via @hockeystatcards:

+10.1 — Drew Doughty
+9.5 — Gustav Forsling
+8.5 — Dylan Samberg
+8.4 — Brian Dumoulin
+8.0 — Mikey Anderson
+8.0 — Nate Schmidt
+7.4 — Vinny Desharnais
+7.3 — Aaron Ekblad
+6.6 — D. Orlov
+6.5 — R. McDonagh

Drew's still got it. pic.twitter.com/ZXri5ddIL3

— Big Head Hockey (@BigHeadHcky) April 5, 2024


With Phil Danault set to return, the biggest lineup questions surround the frequent discussion of a 11+7 or 12+6 configuration. We’re expecting rookie Akil Thomas to draw in once again, leaving Hiller with either Arthur Kaliyev or Jacob Moverare as the lone scratch.

Statistically Speaking


— Tonight’s game is the fourth between these two clubs in the span of 37 calendar days. It will also be the 268th game between LA and Vancouver. Only the Calgary Flames (302) have faced off against the Canucks more in league history.

— Anze Kopitar has recorded six points (2G, 4A) in his last five games vs. Vancouver. Entering tonight, only Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (64) has more points vs. Vancouver among active skaters than Kopitar’s 58.

— With five points (2G, 3A) across his past four games, Kevin Fiala enters tonight’s contest with Vancouver tied with Adrian Kempe for the team lead in overall scoring (68 points).

— Trevor Moore has notched points (2G, 2A) in three of his last four matchups against Vancouver, including one goal last time the Kings hosted their Pacific Division rival on March 5. Per NHL PR, should Moore hit the 30-goal mark, the 2023-24 season would become the fourth in NHL history to feature multiple California-born players score 30 goals – Auston Matthews and Jason Robertson have combined for the other three instances (2022-23, 2021-22 & 2017-18).

Kings Projected Lineup vs. Canucks


Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Fiala – Dubois – Lewis
Thomas – Lizotte – Laferriere

NOTE: optional morning skate today, lineup implications explained above

Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence

Talbot (starter)
Rittich

Possible scratches: Kaliyev, Moverare

LTIR: Copley (out for the year), Grundstrom (eligible to return when medically cleared), Turcotte (min. April 12)

Key Game Info


Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm Pacific Time and will be televised by Bally Sports.

Across the Ice


Vancouver is coming off a 2-1 victory over Arizona on Wednesday.

Here’s how they lined up for that one:

Joshua – Miller – Garland
Hoglander – Petterson – Boeser
Mikheyev – Blueger – Podkolzin
Blueger – Lafferty

Hughes – Hronek
Soucy – Myers
Cole – Zadorov
Friedman

Silvovs

In their last 10 games, the Canucks are 5-4-1. As the away team, they’re 22-12-4 this season.

On This Day in Kings History

On April 6, 2019, Blake Lizotte made his NHL debut in the @LAKings' season finale at STAPLES Center. Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals, and Matt Roy recorded his first career game-winning goal in a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/VE0nYgnG0f

— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) April 6, 2024


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