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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME 78: CANUCKS vs LOS ANGELES

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The Quinn Hughes era has arrived... we think.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (32-35-10) vs Los Angeles Kings (28-40-8)

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

When: 7:00 pm PST

Where to Watch: Sportsnet Pacific

SB Nation Opposition Blog: Jewels From The Crown

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: While we await official confirmation, all signs point to last years 7th overall pick Quinn Hughes to make his NHL debut tonight. With his injured ankle healed and some practice time with the team under his belt, the Canucks will finally be able to see the guy they’re counting on the be the anchor a new defence core is built around.

I think it’s important to remember to keep the bar at a reasonable height to start with. He’s been out of game situations for a couple weeks now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if there’s hiccups tonight. It’s all about getting him used to the speed of the game at this level and trying to take what he has and see how it all fits. The important thing, in a season where it’s once again felt like a punishment for choosing this team for one’s devotion, this is a time where we can actually enjoy the moment.

Hughes will lineup alongside Luke Schenn tonight, a good move by Travis Green to ensure that he’s paired up with a veteran that’s not going to require him to play a ton of minutes out of the gate. With Ben Hutton returning to the lineup he’ll be back with his usual partner in Troy Stecher, so that sees Alex Biega move to the top pairing with Alex Edler. Biega has been playing some of the best hockey of this career over the last few weeks so this seems like a nod to that from the coaching staff.

They’re facing a Los Angeles Kings team that’s coming off an 8-4 thumping at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, so one can imagine that Willie Desjardins’ squad will be a little bit prickly tonight. We all knew the Kings window has been closing for a while now, but it’s hard to tell whether it was a giant mistake or a stroke of genius to bring in Willie after firing head coach John Stevens 13 games into the season. The Kings have a pretty decent shot of landing the coveted 1st overall pick in this years NHL Entry Draft, and ensure themselves of a player they can plan a rebuild around. Gross.

Via The Province, here’s what we should see on the ice tonight from these two terrible hockey teams:

CANUCKS’ LINES

LW – C – RW

Josh Leivo — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo Horvat — Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi — Adam GaudetteJake Virtanen

Markus Granlund — Jay BeagleTim Schaller

Defence pairings

Alex Edler — Alex Biega

Ben Hutton — Troy Stecher

Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn

Goalies: Jacob Markstrom, Thatcher Demko

KINGS’ LINES

LW – C – RW

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Carl GrundstromAdrian KempeTyler Toffoli

Kyle CliffordJeff CarterTrevor Lewis

Austin WagnerJonny BrodzinskiKurtis MacDermid

Defence pairings

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Alec MartinezMatt Roy

Sean WalkerDion Phaneuf

Goalies: Jonathan Quick, Jack Campbell

SICK BAY

Canucks: Brandon Sutter (hernia), Antoine Roussel (knee), Ryan Spooner (groin), Chris Tanev (foot)

Kings: None

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWER PLAY

Canucks: 15.9% (27th)

Kings: 16.3% (26th)

PENALTY KILL

Canucks: 80.7% (14th)

Kings: 75.5% (29th)

In other news, the Canucks have nominated Jacob Markstrom as their Masterton Trophy nominee this season.

And with Moose Jaw being eliminated from the WHL playoffs last night, expect an announcement soon that Jett Woo will sign an Amateur Try Out contract with the Utica Comets to allow him to finish the season in the AHL.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN: Some ripping Swedish crust metal for you today courtesy MARTYRDOD. Their new album ‘Hexhammaren” is out May 10 on Century Media Records.