NHL Hockey

0
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0
Vancouver 0 2 2 4
4
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00 BRT, December 6, 2021
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia  Attendance: 18,591

Crumbling Canucks clash with Kings in Canada

Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks

  1. The Canucks have won their last five games against the Kings, though the teams have not played each other since Dec. 28, 2019, when Vancouver won on home ice, 3-2, despite being outshot, 51-26. This is the Canucks' longest winning streak versus the Kings since 2009 (also five games).
  2. The Kings scored three power-play goals in their 5-1 win at Edmonton last night (all during a 5:00 boarding major on Connor McDavid). It was the first time the Kings scored three power-play goals in a road game since Jan. 2, 2018, which was also an L.A. victory in Edmonton. The Kings' three PPGs in that game also came in the third period during one 5:00 penalty.
  3. Adrian Kempe scored two goals in the Kings' 5-1 win at Edmonton last night. Kempe scored one goal in nine games in October but he now leads the team with 10 goals this season.
  4. The Canucks' record (8-15-2, 18 points) is the team's worst mark through the first 25 games of a season since 1986-87 (7-16-2, 16 points).
  5. Bruce Boudreau has been a head coach for 984 NHL games: 329 for Washington, 352 with Anaheim and 303 for Minnesota. Only three other men have served as a head coach for 300 or more games with each of three different NHL teams: Scotty Bowman, Ron Wilson and John Tortorella.
  6. Thatcher Demko is 3-6-0 with a 2.61 goals-against average in nine home games this season. He has the second most home losses among NHL goalies, behind Montreal's Jake Allen (7).

The Vancouver Canucks were in need of sweeping changes amid a 3-9-1 slump that has seen them plummet down the standings to the bottom of the Pacific Division.

The Canucks announced those changes on Monday morning, hours before they were set to host the Los Angeles Kings.

Vancouver fired general manager Jim Benning, assistant GM John Weisbrod as well as head coach Travis Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner.

The Canucks announced Bruce Boudreau as their new coach and Scott Walker as assistant coach.

Whether it's enough to save the season for the struggling Canucks remains to be seen. Undoubtedly, the Canucks hit a new low in Saturday's 4-1 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. As time wound down, fans not only jeered the Canucks off the ice but chanted "Fire Benning."

"Fans want wins, and we're not giving it to them," captain Bo Horvat said succinctly.

The Canucks have a litany of troubles, but the most glaring has been their horrific penalty kill. Their 64.6 percent penalty kill is the worst in league history through 25 games of a season, and they are the first team since the 2007-08 Atlanta Thrashers to allow two opposition power-play goals in 10 of their first 25 games of a season. The Penguins scored a pair of power-play goals to break open the game.

"At the end of the day, it's cost us a lot of games and it's been a difference in a lot of hockey games," Horvat said. "And it was a difference again. ... We were still right in it after it was 3-1 and we should have come harder out there in the third, but it's tough when you run into penalty trouble like that. It is deflating when you're playing catch up against a team like that."

The Kings arrive in Vancouver having claimed a 5-1 road win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday that snapped a two-game losing streak.

Los Angeles is hanging in the playoff picture and is benefiting from all kinds of strong performances on a regular basis. In beating the Oilers, star defenseman Drew Doughty tied a season-high with three points, while forward Adrian Kempe tied a season-high with two goals to give him 10. Forward Viktor Arvidsson is riding a five-game point streak.

The Kings, who have a 4-0-1 record when playing in Canada this season, did a masterful job in shutting down the high-octane Oilers and converting on the power play.

Los Angeles collected three man-advantage markers for the second time this season. Two of those goals came when Edmonton captain Connor McDavid was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct.

"It was three different groups, because we got the two, and then when we went to lines, away from units, and played two defensemen, they scored a goal, which was good to see, but in those situations, the other team is kind of done," coach Todd McLellan said. "When the other's team's done, you need to hammer the nail in and at least our guys did that."

Defensively, it was possibly the best defensive performance by the Kings, who held Edmonton to 22 shots.

"They got some chances late in the second and in the third, we basically didn't give them much. When we did, (goalie Jonathan) Quick was amazing," Doughty said. "He's been great all year. He deserves a lot of credit for the wins we have this year. We played a good third period, probably the best that we have this year."

--Field Level Media

Updated December 6, 2021

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