The Canucks clawed away to maintain their slim postseason hopes while the Kings missed out on a perfect mark.
Former King Brad Richardson netted the game-winning goal for Vancouver with 1:23 left to play Saturday night, ending the Kings’ bid at going undefeated against the Canucks this season, keeping Vancouver’s playoff hopes alive.
The Kings’ 2-1 loss at Rogers Arena Saturday evening was their first against the Canucks in five games this season.
The 1980-’81 season now continues to stand alone as the only time the Kings have gone undefeated against Vancouver, going 4-0-0 that year. The Kings ended their regular season mark against the Canucks with a 4-1-0 mark this season.
Saturday’s contest remained scoreless until the final moments of the second period, when defenseman Slava Voynov registered his first goal in 60 games, dating back to November 17 when he scored the Kings’ only goal in their 1-0 win over the New York Rangers.
Voynov rocketed home the opening tally past Vancouver’s Eddie Lack on the Kings’ second power play of the night. Voynov snuck into the Canucks’ crease as Jeff Carter dug the puck out of a scrum deep in Vancouver’s zone.
Carter fed Voynov a one-motion backhand pass, and the Kings’ defenseman kicked his scoring slump, netting his fourth goal of the season to give the Kings a 1-0 lead with :28.0 left to play in the second period.
The Kings carried that 1-0 lead into the third period, and up until tonight, the Canucks had won just three games when trailing after two periods.
Vancouver didn’t mock that trend tonight, coming out in the final period poised and desperate, recording 20 shots on Jonathan Quick in the final 20 minutes as they scrapped away to keep their postseason hopes alive.
The Kings didn’t help themselves as the Canucks applied their fierce late-game attack, taking four penalties in the third period.
Vancouver would execute with the Kings shorthanded, Alexander Edler tipping home the game-tying goal past Jonathan Quick 1:06 into the final period after Dustin Brown was penalized for a roughing infraction :19 into the third.
Former King Brad Richardson buried the Canucks’ second goal, the game’s eventual game-winner, with 1:23 to play in regulation, slamming home a backdoor look as a scrum took place in front of Jonathan Quick.
Quick made 38 saves for the Kings, and wasn’t to be at fault for either of Vancouver’s tallies Saturday night.
The Kings return to Los Angeles for a couple of days before their game Wednesday night in Alberta against the Calgary Flames.