(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings attempt to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race when they visit the Vancouver Canucks for Monday's Pacific Division battle.
The reigning Stanley Cup champions have won two straight and hope to stay on the right track when they begin a three-game road trip.
Los Angeles has 92 points, tying them with the Winnipeg Jets for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference although the Kings own the tiebreaker with four more regulation/overtime wins (ROW) than Winnipeg. The Jets and Kings each have four games remaining in the regular season and Winnipeg plays tonight in Minnesota.
However, the Kings have another potential avenue into the postseason via the Pacific Division. L.A. is just one point behind the Calgary Flames for the third playoff berth in the division and is three in back of second-place Vancouver. The Kings hold a game in hand over both the Canucks and Flames, who are idle Monday before hosting Arizona on Tuesday.
The Kings beat Colorado on Saturday, posting a 3-1 win to go 2-0 on a brief homestand that began with Thursday's 8-2 rout of the Edmonton Oilers.
Marian Gaborik, Alec Martinez and Dwight King each scored to lead Los Angeles past the Avalanche, who were officially eliminated from the playoff race earlier on Saturday after Winnipeg beat Vancouver.
Jonathan Quick stopped nine shots while Robyn Regehr and Jeff Carter each posted two assists for the Kings.
"We did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone; we took away some time and space, had a few breakdowns here and there and Quickie came up huge for us," said Martinez. "We definitely can play better hockey, but I'm obviously happy with the outcome."
Martinez's goal midway through the second period broke a 1-1 tie and Gaborik added an insurance tally with 1:56 left in the third. Gaborik has three goals and an assist over the last two games.
L.A. owns a 24-9-7 mark as the host, but the club has struggled mightily away from the Staples Center this season, going 15-16-7 as the guest. The Kings will visit Edmonton tomorrow night before completing the road trip Thursday against the Flames.
Los Angeles has earned victories in two straight and three of its last four trips to Vancouver. However, the Canucks did halt a three-game slide in this series with a 4-1 win at the Staples Center on March 21. It was just the second win for Vancouver in the past nine matchups versus the Kings.
Quick is 12-12-1 with a 1.75 goals against average in 25 career starts against the Canucks.
Vancouver has lost its last two games and both setbacks have come in regulation. The Jets posted a 5-4 win over the visiting Canucks on Saturday afternoon.
Winnipeg won an entertaining battle as five of the game's nine goals were scored in the opening 20 minutes. The Jets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first before Vancouver tied the contest. However, Lee Stempniak's first marker made it a 3-2 game with 1:47 left in the opening period and the Jets held a lead the rest of the way.
The Canucks receive a pair of goals from Alex Burrows, who cut the deficit to one late in the second and third periods. Daniel Sedin added a goal and two assists and Henrik Sedin tallied a goal and an assist.
"Once we went down 5-3, that's tough," said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins. "Not very often do you get two goals. We are lucky we got the one. We hit the post, but you can't put yourself in that spot."
Eddie Lack allowed all five Jets goals on 36 shots.
Although No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller has returned to practice and could return from a sprained knee before the end of the regular season, Lack will start again tonight with Jacob Markstrom serving as the backup. Miller hasn't played since Feb. 22.
Lack is 2-2-0 with a 1.68 GAA in four lifetime outings against the Kings.
The Canucks are ending the regular season on a three-game homestand and will welcome Arizona and Edmonton to complete the stay at Rogers Arena. Vancouver is 21-15-2 as the host this season.