Kings hope to bounce back, knot series with Canucks
Saturday, 04.17.2010 / 4:00 PM
NHL.comKINGS at CANUCKS
(Vancouver leads best-of-seven series, 1-0)
It wasn't domination, but the more-experienced Canucks escaped with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 1 against the less-experienced Kings. The big reason the game went to OT was the stellar play of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick
, who made 41 saves in a losing cause. The Kings will need to improve at even strength in Game 2, as both of their goals in Game 1 came on the power play.
For players like Dustin Brown
, Jack Johnson
, Drew Doughty
and Anze Kopitar
, they can finally stop answering questions about having never played in a playoff game. They've got that experience under their belt, and while they didn't look shaky in Game 1, they'll be more relaxed when they take the ice for Game 2.
» Apr. 17, 2010: Coming Soon
"There's a lot of guys in here that this was their first playoff game," Brown said. "To have that under their belt, now they kind of know what to expect, now we can go after it in Game 2."
Meanwhile, Quick put his late-season struggles behind him with his outstanding play in Game 1. Still, Quick alone won't be enough if the Kings want to even the series.
"I think we got to contest (Roberto) Luongo a bit more," Quick said. "We got to get a lot more traffic, a lot more pucks on him. Make him play great. He's a great goalie, but we're not going to score goals if we don't contest him."
With the score tied at 2-2 for more than 30 minutes of game time, the Canucks never looked uncomfortable or tight. They took the play to the Kings during most of the second half of the game before Mikael Samuelsson finally won it in overtime.
It was a big-time goal from a player who was brought to Vancouver for a moment just like that.
"You have to have that mindset once in a while," Samuelsson said about pressure situations. "That way, you stay calm."
Samuelsson obviously is feeling pretty good with his two goals, but he was close to two more. Only a pair of great saves by Quick kept him somewhat in check. … Michal Handzus
led the Kings with five shots in Game 1.
Canucks defenseman Sami Salo didn't practice Friday, but he's expected to play. Fellow defenseman Aaron Rome skated with the team, but isn't likely to be in the lineup.
Since 2003, only one team (the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes) has won the Stanley Cup after losing Game 1 of their quarterfinal series. … Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff was the Game 1 leader in ice time with 30:35. Johnson led the Kings with 25:20.
"I think we played a pretty good game. We made a couple mistakes. The Sedin line got some points last night, made some great plays. But most of their plays were off our mistakes. I thought we had a pretty good game overall, but just a couple of mistakes we'd like to have back." -- Kings defenseman Sean O'Donnell