Vancouver Canucks preview: The Kings are dead, long live King Boeser

VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 28: Brock Boeser /
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The surging Los Angeles Kings are coming to Vancouver for their second game of the season series. Here are both teams’ lineups, predictions and keys to victory.

Defeating the Los Angeles Kings was once considered a badge of honour, especially when it came to the playoffs from 2012-2015. However, times have changed, and the Kings had fallen off for a few seasons. This year, the Kings are an exceptional team near the top of the standings and the Vancouver Canucks sit at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The short-lived rivalry is dead and gone, but the Kings Twitter account gives us our seasonal reminder as to why we don’t like the Kings. Although, the Vegas Golden Knights have done well to annoy the rest of the NHL with their social media account.

Our last meeting with the titans of the West was the only bright spark of that awful road trip in California. The Canucks took a 3-2 decision with Anders Nilsson stealing the game with 29 saves. How fitting that he will get the nod for the second of four games this year against LA.

Vancouver bounced back from an awful stretch of games going into the Christmas break with a win over the Blackhawks on Thursday. Keep in mind that the Canucks had the fortune of facing a rookie goaltender while finally receiving some solid goaltending of their own.

Travis Green will have to pull out all the defensive stops to squeak out a win. Does this mean that Nic Dowd could play more than Brock Boeser? Absolutely. It happened on Thursday, despite Boeser’s line producing four goals with a fifth on the power play from Sam Gagner. Jake Virtanen played his usual 10 minutes and Nikolay Goldobin had 35 seconds of ice time in the third period.

If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m not thrilled for the upcoming trap-fest tonight. Let’s break down the starters, injuries and predictions.

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