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NHL Hockey Picks: Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings Prediction: March 23rd 2013

March 23rd, 2013

NHL Hockey Picks: March 23rd 2013
Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Prediction: Under 5
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After a tough start to the season, the defending champs have their swagger back. The Kings have won three of their last four, all on home ice, and they face Vancouver at the Staples Center Saturday afternoon. The Canucks have really been struggling, and they are without several key players due to injury.

Ryan Kesler is out with a broken foot, David Booth is once again out with a lower body injury, and Zack Kassian and Chris Higgins have both missed time recently with back problems.

Vancouver was so short up front in their last game against Phoenix, they put defenseman Keith Ballard on the wing with Andrew Ebett and Dale Weiss. They got more bad news Friday when they learned one of their best defensemen Alex Edler would be suspended for two games for a hit on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith.

The Canucks have struggled against the Kings at the best of times, losing five of the last seven meetings, but they are in a particularly tough spot here with all the injuries.

The lack of depth at the forward position puts even more pressure on the Sedin twins, who have not been having a great season so far. Opponents know that if they can shut down the twins, the Canucks don’t have a lot of other weapons. I would expect the Kings to rough up Daniel and Henrik, hitting them hard every time they touch the puck. This strategy has been very effective for them in the past.

On a positive note for Canuck fans, Corey Schneider has been brilliant in back to back starts, winning each of those games and allowing just three goals in the process. All three of those goals were on deflections, that he really had no chance to see let alone stop. Schneider won his only previous start against L.A. this year, allowing two goals on 30 shots.

I don’t expect to see these teams combine for a lot of goals in this game, it should be a low scoring affair.

Take the UNDER.