Captain Anze Kopitar is traveling the fast track on the strength of an pair of impressive streaks, however the 30-year-old Slovene seemingly is more interested in putting a halt to another before it picks up steam. Kopitar carries a career-high seven-game assist streak and personal best-tying eight-game point stretch into Tuesday’s tilt as the Los Angeles Kings bid to end a modest two-game skid versus the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
“There’s always more you can do, but it is what it is now,” Kopitar said. “There’s a couple things now that we have to take into consideration and see what we can improve on, and make sure we’re ready on Tuesday.” Kopitar set up Dustin Brown for a power-play goal in the first period on Sunday, but Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles dropped a 2-1 setback to San Jose for its fourth loss in six outings after a blistering 9-1-1 start to the season. The Sharks also handed the second straight loss for the Canucks, a 5-0 decision on Saturday to be precise. Vancouver is 1-2-0 on its four-game road trip after winning four of its previous five away from home.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), FSN West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (8-7-2): Vancouver’s 28th-ranked power play went 0-for-5 for the second straight game on Sunday and is just 2-for-21 in November heading into a tilt with Los Angeles, which boasts the league’s top-ranked penalty kill at a 91.9 percent clip. “Teams are so good now killing, you can’t guess out there,” captain Henrik Sedin told the Vancouver Province. “You have to know where to put pucks and get the second chances and even after scrambles, knowing where to put pucks. That’s been our biggest problem.” A 24th-ranked penalty kill certainly hasn’t been part of the solution for the Canucks, who have yielded seven power-play goals in the last five games.
ABOUT THE KINGS (11-4-2): Brown appears to have gained a step while playing under new coach John Stevens, and his offensive production has followed suit. The 33-year-old matched his power-play goal output from last season by netting his fourth of the campaign on Sunday and his eight tallies in 17 games in 2017-18 are already past the halfway mark to the 14 he recorded in 80 contests last season. Brown has collected two goals and as many assists during his three-game point streak while Kopitar has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) during his eight-game run.
1. Vancouver G Jacob Markstrom has permitted 13 goals during his last four starts (1-3-0) after allowing two goals or fewer in each of his six previous outings.
2. Kings G Jonathan Quick owns a stellar 1.61 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in 32 career encounters versus the Canucks, but only has a 16-14-2 mark to show for it.
3. Vancouver’s Markus Granlund replaced fellow C Alexander Burmistrov on a line during Monday’s practice while Brendan Gaunce was once again shuffled to wing with C Brandon Sutter and RW Derek Dorsett.
PREDICTION: Kings 2, Canucks 1