Three things you need to know about Game 4 of the Vancouver Canucks-Los Angeles Kings first-round series Wednesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca).
Daniel Sedin likely to return
After a 12-game absence due to a concussion suffered on March 21, Daniel Sedin appears to be a go for Game 4. Unlike last week, when he didn't feel good the following day after a hard skate with his teammates, Sedin remarked that he felt ready to play after practising with his teammates on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday morning.
There is the possibility some concussion-like symptoms could return before the start of Game 4, but Sedin expects to play. "Yes, absolutely," he replied.
Without Sedin, the Canucks managed only four goals in the first three games of the series.
Schneider gets the nod over Luongo
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault told his goaltenders in a meeting on Tuesday evening that Cory Schneider would make his second start of the series. Roberto Luongo played well in the opening two games, but Schneider held the Kings to only a Dustin Brown rebound goal in a 1-0 loss at the Staples Center on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Luongo chose not to speak to reporters on Wednesday, but his benching may have an impact on his future in Vancouver. Maybe the Canucks have decided that would rather keep Schneider and trade Luongo in the summer.
The Canucks will not get as much in return for Luongo because he still has 10 years remaining on his contract with a salary cap hit of $5.33-million US. Luongo also has a no-trade clause, but if he's willing to move there would be interest from both Florida-based teams (Luongo's wife is from Florida) and likely the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Canucks try to avoid the wrong side of history
Since the 2004-05 NHL lockout, a No. 8-seed has upset a No. 1 in the first round only three times: Edmonton over Detroit (2006), Anaheim over San Jose (2009) and Montreal over Washington (2010). But a No. 1 seed has never been swept in the first round since the current Stanley Cup playoff format was put in place in 1992-93.
"We're not looking as this being a last-chance opportunity, but as an opportunity to do something special," said Canucks centre Ryan Kesler, who also was well aware that only three teams in NHL history have overcome a 3-0 series deficit and won.
Projected Canucks forward lines
Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-David Booth
Chris Higgins-Ryan Kesler-Alex Burrows
Mason Raymond-Sami Pahlsson-Jannik Hansen
Dale Weise-Manny Maholtra-Zack Kassian
Starting goalie - Cory Schneider
Projected Kings forward lines
Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Dwight King-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner-Jarret Stoll-Trevor Lewis
Brad Richardson-Colin Fraser-Jordan Nolan
Starting goalie - Jonathan Quick
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