LOS ANGELES – There’s no love lost between these two clubs.
In what was the Kings’ second meeting with the Canucks in just nine days, the bad blood was boiling – as the two teams combined for 109 penalty minutes tonight at STAPLES Center.
The Kings had trouble developing any chemistry during a night that featured so many infractions, looking out-of-sync through the first two periods of play.
They had their biggest struggles in man-advantage situations, where they failed to score on seven power play opportunities, including a seven-minute power play just 2:33 into the contest.
The battle between these two clubs tonight honed on physical play through the first 40 minutes, as prime scoring chances were coming few and far between.
The Kings recorded just 12 shots in total through the first two periods of play.
The third period would direct the Kings to victory, though, as Dustin Brown knocked home the Kings’ 14th shot of the night just :24 seconds into the third period for his 10th goal of the season to give the Kings a 1-0 lead with 19:36 left in regulation time.
Kopitar, who broke through Vancouver’s defense and fired off a back-hander on Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack, couldn’t find the back of the net, but Dustin Brown was well positioned to bury the rebound.
Dustin Brown, who also scored in the Kings’ last game against the Canucks on January 4, has now scored three goals in the Kings’ past five games.
Tonight’s combined mark of 169 penalty minutes (LA – 40) (VAN – 69) is the highest total in any Kings game this season. The previous high for penalty minutes in a game this season came against Vancouver as well, when the Kings and Canucks combined for 80 penalty minutes on November 25.
Jonathan Quick was downright solid in the crease for the Kings tonight, recording his 27th career shutout, stopping all of Vancouver’s 28 shots directed his way.
With tonight’s win, the Kings now have a perfect 4-0-0 record against Vancouver this season. The last time the Kings have won at least four games against the Canucks in a single season, you would have to track back to the 1990-’91 season, when the Kings had a 5-3-0 regular season record against Vancouver.
Now with a 27-14-5 record, which is good for 59 points, the Kings sit at sixth-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings, in completing their home stand tonight, compiled an impressive 3-1-1 record during their five-game stay at STAPLES Center.
They’ll now hit the road for five games starting on Thursday evening, when they’ll be in Missouri for a date with the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center for a 5:00 puck-drop.