Three developments to watch for in Game 5 of the Canucks-Kings first-round series on Sunday, which the Kings lead 3-1.
Can Schneider continue his winning ways?
When Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault made his decision to stick with goalie Cory Schneider over Roberto Luongo for Game 4, speculation immediately began that Luongo would be the netminder on the move in the offseason.
Schneider responded with his first career Stanley Cup playoff win last Wednesday. He has stopped 62 of 64 shots for a league-best .969 save percentage and 1.02 goals against average. In his two starts, he has outplayed his Kings counterpart, Jonathan Quick, and if Schneider's stellar goalkeeping continues the Canucks will be in good shape to force a Game 6 back in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
How effective will the Three Mouthketeers be for the Canucks?
In his neverending search for some second-line chemistry, Vigneault has put together a forward line consisting of agitators Maxim Lapierre, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows. Vancouver Sun sports columnist Cam Cole has dubbed them the Three Mouthketeers.
The threesome has been criticized for its diving and embellishments to draw penalties and they certainly lived up to that reputation in the series opener. But they have been much better since.
Can the Canucks win at home?
In order to avoid becoming the fourth No. 1 seed to be upset by an eighth-seeded team since the 2004-05 NHL lockout, the Canucks have to snap a three-game losing streak at Rogers Arena.
They lost the Stanley Cup finale 4-0 to the Boston Bruins at home 10 months ago, and they dropped the first two games of this series in their building by identical 4-2 scores.
Entering playoff action on Sunday, the road team has won 24 of 39 first-round games.
Projected Vancouver forward lines:
Starting goalie: Cory Schneider
Kings projected forward lines
Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick
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