Kings Head To Vancouver Looking For Fifth Straight Win

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks wrapped up the Western Conference's top seed last time out. Their first ever Presidents' Trophy could be next tonight with a little bit of help. The Canucks take aim at a fifth straight victory tonight at Rogers Arena against the Los Angeles Kings, who also go for a fifth win in a row after surviving a big test without their top two scorers last time out.

Vancouver made sure the road to the Stanley Cup Finals in the Western Conference would go through British Columbia with Tuesday's 3-1 win over Nashville. That win has the Canucks nine points up on the Eastern Conference- leading Flyers with five games to play.

Though Philadelphia does have a game in hand, Vancouver can clinch finishing with the NHL's best record with a victory and a Flyers loss versus the Atlanta Thrashers tonight.

Alexandre Burrow scored twice and Roberto Luongo made 16 saves versus the Predators for his NHL-leading 36th win of the season for the Canucks, who wrapped a perfect four-game road trip to extend their road winning streak to a club-record nine straight games.

Vancouver has also set franchise records in wins (51), road wins (26) and points (111) in a single season.

"It's nice," Luongo said. "(Getting the top seed was) one of our goals that we set out to accomplish when we started the year, but we have more goals ahead of us."

Aaron Rome scored from over 100 feet away into an empty net for his second career goal and first since April 3, 2008 for Vancouver, which has won 11 of its last 12 overall.

Luongo figures to be in line for some more rest before the playoffs and is 11-8-2 with a 2.33 GAA in his career against the Kings, while backup Cory Schneider has never faced them.

Already without forward Justin Williams for at least the rest of the regular season due to a dislocated right shoulder, the Kings visited the Oilers on Tuesday and left town with a 2-0 victory despite not having Anze Kopitar in the lineup.

The forward suffered a right ankle injury versus Colorado on Saturday and isn't expected to return until next season after undergoing surgery on Wednesday.

Without those two snipers, backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves for his third shutout of the season and captain Dustin Brown scored twice to give the Kings an 8-1-2 mark in their last 11 games. Los Angeles is fifth overall in the Western Conference with 94 points, one up on sixth-place Anaheim and one behind Phoenix with two fewer games played.

The Kings still have a shot at the Pacific Division title as well. They are three points behind the Sharks with six games to play for both teams, including a scheduled meeting in San Jose on April 4.

"At the end of the day hockey's a team game and we played a pretty good team game tonight at both ends of the ice," said Brown, who now leads Los Angeles with 27 goals. "We've got good players in here and when we're at the best as a team it's because of structure not because of individual performances so that's a positive for us."

A victory tonight will give the Kings their second-longest win streak of the season behind only a six-game run from Oct. 28-Nov. 13, and Jonathan Quick is slated to get the start. He has a solid 1.98 goals-against average in nine career starts against the Canucks, but is just 3-5-1.

The Kings picked up a pair of victories in October over the Canucks, who then snapped their three-game series losing streak with a 3-1 road win on March 5. It was also Vancouver's eighth victory in the past 12 meetings and it has captured four of the past five at home against Los Angeles.

For more news and information on tonight's game, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown.

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