Kings aim to bounce back vs. Canucks

Kings aim to bounce back vs. Canucks

The Los Angeles Kings had to hit the reset button again heading into their game against the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.The Kings posted a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Dec. 19 before seeing their next three games postponed by the NHL because of several COVID-19 outbreaks. Los Angeles got in two days of practice before dropping a 6-3 decision to the visiting Vegas Golden Knights in an error-filled game Tuesday.The Kings sought to pinpoint their mistakes during a long film session Wednesday and correct them during an on-ice practice afterward.Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said he’s confident his team is ready to put Tuesday’s dud in its rear-view mirror and get back to playing like the club that went 5-2-1 over a two-week span before the schedule was paused.”For me, it finally feels like we’re back to where we need to be,” McLellan said. “I didn’t feel that the first two days of practice. It does feel like that now.”McLellan said he plans to start veteran goaltender Jonathan Quick against the Canucks. Quick gave up five goals on 15 shots against the Golden Knights and was replaced early in the second period.Cal Petersen, who has made 11 starts in goal for the Kings this season, came off the NHL’s COVD-19 protocol list on Wednesday and likely will back up Quick.Phillip Danault, who is tied for fourth on the Kings with 14 points, also practiced Wednesday after exiting protocol. He will be a game-time decision, McLellan said.Defenseman Olli Maatta and Dustin Brown remain in protocol for Los Angeles.The Kings welcomed back their best defenseman, Drew Doughty, against Vegas after he spent time in protocol, but McLellan could see the rust in Doughty’s first game back.”We saw with Drew how hard it is to get your game back,” McLellan said. “He had a really tough night (against the Golden Knights) and he’d be the first to tell you that. He hadn’t played for two weeks, and he’s only played seven or eight of our last 25 games. He didn’t need the extended break, and it showed. Every individual is going to be different.”

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