Stoll to miss Kings’ game vs. Coyotes

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L.A. Kings’ forward Jarret Stoll will miss his second game on Monday due to an upper body injury.

Stoll was injured during the Kings’ 4-0 win in Vancouver on Thursday night and has not skated since.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Stoll is still being evaluated.

“We’re not going to have a recall here today, by any means,” said Assistant GM Rob Blake. “We don’t have a timetable on Stollie yet. He’s not playing [on Monday].”

Lisa Dillman reports Stoll was injured on a third period hit from Canucks’ forward Derek Dorsett.

Blake was asked if there’s any concern that Stoll’s injury could be long-term.

“Hopefully, not,” he said. “You saw the hit. . . . The problem with that is we don’t have a timetable for that stuff.”

With Stoll set to miss a second game, Andy Andreoff will get another opportunity tonight when the Kings play host to the Arizona Coyotes.

The 23-year-old won 5 of 6 face-offs and played 8:28 in the Kings’ 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

“It’s tough. It’s been a long year,” said Andreoff, who played in just his second game since Feb. 3 on Saturday. “But I’m kind of getting used to it. You just got to make sure you’re being the hardest worker in practice and being ready for the opportunity.”

The Kings have won two of three meetings with the Coyotes this season. Monday is fourth and final game between the two clubs this season.

Canucks’ Dorsett: ‘We’ve got to come with our best effort every night’

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Facing the Arizona Coyotes, losers of 10 straight heading into Thursday and in the battle for the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, the Vancouver Canucks looked to have two points just waiting for them.

All they had to do was put in the time, take them, and move on to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Instead, the Coyotes came away with a 3-2 shootout victory after the Canucks got off to a horrendous first-period start and needed a third-period comeback just to earn the single point. Against a team that is in a quick spiral down the Western Conference standings, the Canucks were guilty of some egregious turnovers and Eddie Lack was forced to make some huge saves in overtime.

Just seven days before their loss in Arizona, the Canucks were beaten in Buffalo.

In a playoff race, teams can’t afford to throw away points against lesser opponents. In seven days, the Canucks wasted four points against the Coyotes and Sabres alone. Could mean the difference between a post-season berth or another early start on the golf course.

“It’s something that we get reminded of but we have to take it on as players and be professional,” said forward Derek Dorsett, speaking on TSN 1040 radio in Vancouver on Friday.

“We all want to get to the playoffs, and we know what we have to do to get to the playoffs, and that’s win games. We’ve got to get as many points as we can, when we can. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing (Arizona) or San Jose, we’ve got to come with our best effort every night this time of year.”

And at this time of year, there are going to be injuries and ailments.

From The Province:

Shawn Matthias back on wing, Linden Vey back from purgatory and Ronalds Keninis back to reality.

In what looks more like a playoff-ready lineup — one that will be bolstered when Brad Richardson returns from an ankle injury — the Vancouver Canucks talked Friday about getting their heads and their games into postseason mode as they prepare to face the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Bonino expected to return for Canucks versus Bruins

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The Vancouver Canucks, inundated with injuries of late, will actually have a player returning to the lineup tonight in Boston.

Nick Bonino (11G, 14A) is expected to be back centering the second line. The 26-year-old has been out since Feb. 9, when he hurt his foot blocking a shot versus Minnesota.

“It’s always good when you get some guys back,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said, per NHL.com. “You know he’s a big part for us and we’ve missed him while he’s been out. So if he’s back it’ll be great.”

The Canucks will still be without a number of regulars versus the Bruins, including three key defensemen, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev. Winger Alex Burrows is also expected to miss tonight’s game. And, of course, Ryan Miller will be sidelined for a while, leaving the starting goalie duties to Eddie Lack.

The Canucks have two games left on their five-game trip. They finish up Thursday in Buffalo.

Projected lines tonight:

Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Zack Kassian
Shawn Matthias – Nick Bonino – Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins – Linden Vey – Derek Dorsett
Ronalds Kenins – Bo Horvat – Jannik Hansen

Related: With Krejci injured (again), opportunity knocks (again) for Spooner

Canucks trusting rookie Horvat with some tough assignments

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Typically, when an NHL coach has a 19-year-old rookie in his lineup, that coach will do everything in his power to keep the kid away from the opposition’s top lines.

And that goes double when the opposition’s top forwards include Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

But that wasn’t the case Saturday in Vancouver, where Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, armed with the last change, had center Bo Horvat out there to take seven faceoffs against Crosby and five against Malkin.

There were even times when Desjardins pulled the Sedins off the ice so Horvat could battle Crosby in the circle.

Horvat, not surprisingly, was thrilled with the level of trust he received from his coach.

“Sid’s one of the best players in the world, if not the best,” he said after Vancouver’s 5-0 win, the second time the Canucks had shut out the Penguins this season.

“To go against him in some draws and play against him a lot of shifts, it was special. … Here I am, a 19-year-old kid playing against all these great players. I was surprised it went so well.”

Horvat, skating on a line with veteran wingers Jannik Hansen and Derek Dorsett, also victimized Malkin at the Pittsburgh blue line, leading to Horvat’s fifth goal of the season.

“I think that line’s been so big for us,” said Desjardins. “If we’re able to [put that line out against good competition], it just gives us good matches with the other lines.”

The Canucks, in case you’d forgotten, drafted Horvat with the ninth overall pick they received from New Jersey in the Cory Schneider trade.

Related: Canucks’ Desjardins delivers the news to Horvat

Frustrated Kassian doesn’t ‘know what is going on’ after being scratched again

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From the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap:

The explanation from coach Willie Desjardins was that Kassian has to be more consistent. Which is the same explanation it’s always been with Kassian since he came to Vancouver in the Cody Hodgson trade.

To be sure, Kassian did have a few good moments in Friday’s 5-2 win over Buffalo…

At the same time, a lot of players have good moments against the Sabres. The 24-year-old winger also took another undisciplined penalty (by needlessly slashing goalie Matt Hackett) when the game was still up for grabs in the second period.

Kassian was scratched Sunday against the Wild because 1) Desjardins wanted to get Derek Dorsett, who missed the Sabres game with an injury, back into the lineup and 2) the coach decided to keep rookie Ronalds Kenins in the lineup in order to get a better look at the 23-year-old Latvian (who ended up scoring his first NHL goal).

Where this all ends up is hard to say. Kassian, with just two goals and four assists in 26 games, is clearly frustrated, and this won’t stop the trade rumors.

At the same time, what’s the market for Kassian right now? His trade value has arguably never been lower.