VANCOUVER, BC – Too much emotion can be the death of you. The Kings got their heads right late, and regrouped to pull off a stunner.
The Kings were flirting with mental destruction until the final moments tonight at Rogers Arena, in what finished to be a miraculous last-minute turnaround that saw the Kings take two points to the dressing room in a stunning 3-2 OT victory.
Kyle Clifford drew first for the Kings, and early. Clifford showed slick hands as he put home his second goal of the season with 6:10 remaining in the first period. Clifford received a beautiful pass from Linden Vey, and made a gorgeous move to sneak it past Roberto Luongo.
The Kings outshot the Canucks 13-11 in the first period.
Then the trouble began. The Kings could not find a way to stay out of the penalty box, and granted Vancouver chance after chance on the power play.
The Kings were charged with nine penalties in the second period, and recorded just two shots. The Canucks executed on one of their many man-advantage opportunities late in the frame on a worn-out Kings penalty-kill unit. Christopher Tanev beat Ben Scrivens to tie the game 1-1 with 2:56 remaining in the second period.
Henrik Sedin put the Canucks ahead 2-1 with 13:01 remaining in regulation. At this point, the Kings looked down and trodden, having recorded just four total shots on Roberto Luongo in the previous 26:01 minutes of play.
The Kings found some late-game magic again as Mike Richards planted himself in front of the net, and Jeff Carter fed a beautiful pass from behind the net. Richards hacked at it, and the Kings tied the game 2-2 with just 2:54 left in regulation.
Just :48 seconds into OT, defenseman Slava Voynov made an aggressive pursuit on the forecheck, won the battle for the puck, and fed an open Anze Kopitar who ended the game in front of a stunned and silent Vancouver crowd.
Ben Scrivens was outstanding yet again, and has arguably been the best player on the roster the previous two games. Scrivens made 37 saves on Vancouver’s 39 shots, and is now 5-0-2 in his seven starts since taking over for Jonathan Quick.
The Kings have extended their point streak to 10 games (7-0-3) and now hold a 16-6-3 record good for 35 points. They are now in 5th place in the Western Conference, tied with the San Jose Sharks, who they play on Wednesday night.
The Kings recorded 40 penalty minutes tonight, 17 of them credited to Daniel Carcillo. The Vancouver Canucks notched 40 penalty minutes as well, totaling in at a scrappy 80 minutes of penalty time total.
The Kings got on the board first tonight with Kyle Clifford’s dazzling goal. They are now 10-2-1 this season when they strike first.
Anze Kopitar, with his OT game-winning goal tonight, recorded his 499th career NHL point.