LOS ANGELES (AP) -Ryan Kesler scored the tying goal with 2:41 left in regulation and scored again on a tip-in 46 seconds into overtime, helping the Vancouver Canucks beat Los Angeles 2-1 on Monday night and avoid a four-game season sweep by the Kings.
The Kings, who have the worst record in the NHL, were outshot 37-18 in regulation. Cloutier stopped the first 33 shots he faced before Kesler got the equalizer. Alex Burrows took a 20-foot wrist shot from the left circle, and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky blocked it with his right skate while Cloutier kicked out his left leg. However, Kesler was right there for the rebound.
Mattias Ohlund rang one off the left post just seconds into OT, but Kesler redirected Willie Mitchell's slap shot from the right point just 16 seconds after the Kings killed off an interference penalty against Rob Blake.
The victory was Vancouver's 100th in overtime during the regular season since the format for breaking ties was instituted by the NHL in 1983-84.
The Canucks' victory put lifted them into a tie with Colorado for seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race, two points ahead of ninth-place Nashville.
Patrick O'Sullivan scored the Kings' goal moments after Mitchell broke his stick while attempting a slap shot in the Los Angeles zone. Dustin Brown took off with the puck and started a 2-on-2 rush, with Mitchell one of the defenseman back. O'Donnell got a cross-ice pass from Brown near the net and whipped his 19th goal past Roberto Luongo's stick.
|Patrick O'Sullivan scores the Kings' lone goal past Canucks' goaltender Roberto Luongo. Los Angeles fell to Vancouver, 2-1, in overtime on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)|
Cloutier, who was traded by the Canucks to the Kings in July 2006 for a pair of draft picks, is 0-2-2 against his former team. The Kings, who have scored no more than two goals in any of their last six games, are 3-27-3 this season when they fail to get at least three.
The Canucks' top three point producers - Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Markus Naslund - did not have any goals in the four games against Los Angeles this season. The trio has combined for 61 goals and 179 total points through the team's first 69 games.
Center Brendan Morrison returned to the Vancouver lineup for the start of a four-game road trip, after missing 38 games with a nagging wrist injury that required surgery. He had played in 542 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NHL at that time. It ended after the Canucks' 4-2 loss to the Kings on Dec. 10.
Morrison's injury occurred during an exhibition game against San Jose on Sept. 26, when he jammed his wrist into the boards while taking a hit. He played in Vancouver's first 30 games of the regular season, getting eight goals and 12 assists.
Notes: The Kings' only season sweep of Vancouver was a four-game set in 1980-81. ... Canucks C Trevor Linden, who has played in a franchise-record 1,129 games, was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. ... Cloutier's seven shutouts with Vancouver in 2001-02 still stand as the most in a single season by a Canucks goalie. Luongo is one away from tying that mark. ... Luongo has started 15 consecutive games and 31 of Vancouver's last 33, after sitting out four straight with bruised ribs. His record during that stretch is 18-10-6.