Three things you need to know about Game 2 of Vancouver-Los Angeles series.
Ballard back after two months on the sidelines with concussion
Canucks defenceman Keith Ballard was cleared to play earlier this week and will make his return to the lineup tonight. He hasn't played since Feb. 7 due to a concussion.
"Keith was playing real well before he got hurt," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "He was good defensively and he was moving the puck well. Those are two elements we need."
Ballard will replace veteran Aaron Rome, who played 12 minutes and 42 seconds on the Canucks third pairing in the series opener.
In other lineup changes, Andrew Ebbett of Calgary will replace the suspended Byron Bitz on the Canucks fourth line. Bitz was banished for two games for his boarding headshot hit on Los Angeles forward Kyle Clifford in the series opener. Clifford also won't play in Game 2. Andrei Loktionov, 21, will replace him.
If healthy, Brad Richardson would have got the call for the Kings. But he underwent an emergency appendectomy earlier this week.
Daniel Sedin skates on his own
Maybe the Canucks leading scorer Daniel Sedin jumped back into the swing of things a little too swiftly on Monday when he practiced with his teammates for the first time since suffering a concussion on Mar. 21. But after not skating the past two days Sedin was back on the ice by himself before his teammates practiced on Friday.
The secretive Canucks did not shed any light on Sedin's situation and would not speculate whether the sniper will travel with his teammates to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Wednesday.
Nothing special about Canucks power play
Besides staying out of the penalty box, winning more puck battles and getting more second-chance opportunities on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, the Canucks also need to perform better in man-advantage situations.
Their power-play unit went 0-for-5 on Wednesday and didn't much pressure until their final man-advantage opportunity late in the third period. The Canucks power play has struggled for some time now. It scored only four times in 43 attempts in the final 11 games of the regular season.
Canucks forward lines
Mason Raymond - Henrik Sedin - Alex Burrows
Max Lapierre - Ryan Kesler - David Booth
Chris Higgins - Sami Pahlsson - Jannik Hansen
Manny Maholtra - Andrew Ebbett - Zack Kassian
Starting goalie: Roberto Luongo
Kings forward lines
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Andrei Loktionov - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan
Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick
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