Manor Projected Lineups: LA Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks; Second of Four Games

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After seeing them less than a week ago, the Kings and Canucks will hook up again on Tuesday for what will be their second of four matchups in about a month. Beyond that, the two Pacific Division rivals could even be destined to see each other again in the postseason.

Vancouver head coach Rick Tocchet will be looking for a more competitive effort from his group than they gave him last Thursday when the Kings rode into town and dominated from puck drop until the final horn. Conversely that 5-1 triumph gave LA heaps of confidence as they returned home to begin their current five-game homestand over the weekend. That momentum carried into another 5-1 blowout, only it came against the Devils.

What’s been the difference for LA as of late, now having won eight of their last 12 games? For starters, the lineup construction has seen a configuration adjustment in the past two contests, with coach Jim Hiller electing to pencil in 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Thus far, it’s worked beautifully, and is expected to continue until further notice. Under this alignment, several forwards have had extra ice time while Viktor Arvidsson and Adrian Kempe are stuck on the injured shelf. Players like Quinton Byfield, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Phillip Danault have all been called to step up lately, and they’ve routinely answered.

LAK Jim Hiller likes to keep us guessing but 11F/7D alignment may keep going:
"A few guys have probably played a little more than I would have liked and I'm talking about the forwards…
I should have got some guys out there a little bit more and balanced out a little bit…

— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) March 4, 2024


On the defensive side, rolling with seven blueliners has allowed Jordan Spence and Brandt Clarke to both play in the same game, rather than platoon. Even if Clarke’s ice time isn’t where he would want it to be, he’s getting minutes on the power-play and gaining NHL experience every single night.

Another difference-maker for the Kings post All-Star break has been Kevin Fiala. He’s been heating up at just the right time, recording six goals in his last seven games and a total of eleven points. The old adage of a team’s best players needing to be their best players is never more evident than at this time of the season — and perhaps even more so for a Kings group depleted by injuries. Fiala has been that guy for his club of late, morphing into the go-to guy on the top power play unit, and it’s paying off in the goal column.

Heading into Tuesday’s home game at Crypto.com Arena, perhaps the biggest lineup question involves which goaltender Hiller taps for the start. In a little bit of a surprise, he opted to go with Cam Talbot for a third straight game against New Jersey last time out. Given the organization should want Talbot properly rested for the playoffs, we’re projecting David Rittich to be between the pipes vs. Vancouver. Should more information become available at morning skate today, this article will be updated.

Perhaps the biggest news throughout the week will continue to be Friday’s pending Trade Deadline. What Kings GM Rob Blake will likely be up to — as he attempts to navigate around the absence of Mikey Anderson, Adrian Kempe, and Viktor Arvidsson — was looked at in both written and audio form at the links below:





Statistically Speaking


— Canucks forward Brock Boeser is almost automatic against the Kings. In 17 career games vs. LA, he’s shooting 25%, while scoring 15 goals, including four game winners.

Kings Projected Lineup vs. Canucks


Turcotte – Kopitar – Byfield
Moore – Danault – Fiala
Laferriere – Dubois – JAD
Lizotte – Lewis

Moverare – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence
Clarke

Rittich (starter)
Talbot

Likely scratches: Kaliyev

Injured: Anderson, Kempe

LTIR: Arvidsson, Copley, Grundstrom

Key Game Info


Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm Pacific Time and will be televised by Ballys Sports.

For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Phil Danault for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table outside sections 317-318 on the upper concourse for more information.

LA Royal Army, another fan support group, has a booth outside section 303. They do watch parties and other fun activities. Stop by and check them out.

Across the Ice


Vancouver is coming off a 2-1 victory against Anaheim on Sunday.

Here’s how they lined up for that one:

Mikheyev – Miller – Boeser
Hoglander – Petterson – Suter
Podkolzin – Lindholm – Garland
Di Giuseppe – Blueger – Lafferty

Hughes – Hronek
Cole – Juulsen
Cole – Friedman

Desmith

Note: Demko is the projected starter in LA.

Over their last 10 games, the Canucks are 4-5-1. As the away team, they’re 19-11-4 this season.

On This Day in Kings History

On March 5, 2013, the @LAKings overcame a three-goal deficit and scored five unanswered goals against the St. Louis Blues. Jake Muzzin recorded two goals and three points, and Jeff Carter scored his team leading 15th goal of the season in a 6-4 win for the #LAKings.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/bPCFM01qyS

— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) March 5, 2024


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