Los Angeles

Game Recap

Canucks defeat Kings 3-1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM

Rich Hammond

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Canucks defeat Kings 3-1
Los Angeles Kings 1, Vancouver Canucks 3

VANCOUVER – At one point in the third period, the Kings held the puck behind their net. In front of them stood three Vancouver forecheckers, ready to pounce.


The Kings stood and waited, and waited, seemingly unsure of how to crack the Canucks’ united front, something that seemed to be a theme throughout Monday night’s game.


In their first game since ascending to the top of the Western Conference standings, the Kings’ offense stalled early, often and in all situations as the Kings fell 3-1 to the Canucks before a sellout crowd at GM Place.


The loss was especially painful due to the fact that center Jarret Stoll left the game early in the third period with a groin injury and did not return.


``I think he pulled his groin, right there in the middle of the third period,’’ Murray said. ``We took him off, and we'll see where he is. We'll evaluate him tonight or tomorrow.’’


Offensive struggles against the Canucks are certainly nothing new. The Kings have played Vancouver three times this season, and have scored one goal in each game.


Alexander Frolov scored the Kings’ lone goal, which pulled them within 2-1 late in the first period, but Vancouver’s Mason Raymond scored with 5:12 remaining in the third period to ice the game as the Kings fell to 0-2-1 against Vancouver this season.


``They're definitely a good team, but those are the challenges that we have to face,’’ Kings forward Anze Kopitar said. ``We're first in the West, and they made the playoffs last year, so we've got to beat this team in order to get there and get that push for that playoff run. To make it there, that's a team we have to beat to go a long way.’’


The Kings put 25 shots on Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, but had little sustained pressure for much of the game. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 25 saves and was solid for most of the game and had no fault in the Kings’ 2-0 deficit.


Two moments, both in the first period, essentially sealed the Kings’ fate.


On the first shift of the game, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty had a neutral-zone turnover. The puck came back into the Kings’ zone, and Ryan Kesler eventually knocked in the rebound of a deflected shot, just 1:04 into the game.


At the 2:18 mark, after the Kings failed to show much improvement, Murray called a timeout, the surest sign a coach can give of his displeasure.


Kopitar said Murary’s message to the team was that ``we're not here just to watch. We've got a game to play.’’


``After the goal, there were a couple more shifts, and we didn't really jump up to the intensity level of the game,’’ Murray said. ``We were kind of waiting around, feeling our way around the game, and seeing how it was going to play out. Vancouver kept coming at us, so we have to get to the attention of the players.


``I thought, after the timeout, we started to pick it up a bit. I thought, in the second and third periods, there were some good things happening. We had our opportunities on the scoring side of things and we just couldn't get it done.’’


That led to the second big moment, which started off as a potential positive for the Kings but quickly turned sour.


The Kings trailed 1-0 when they went on the power play with 6:13 left in the first period. Another Vancouver penalty gave the Kings a 5-on-3 advantage for 46 seconds, but the Kings couldn’t even put a shot on goal during the two-man advantage and did not score on the power play.


Seven seconds after it ended, Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was whistled for holding, and seven seconds after that, Sami Salo scored to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.


``Special teams were the difference,’’ Kopitar said. ``It was a one-goal game, and we had the 5-on-3 and we didn't generate anything on that. Then they draw a penalty and they scored five seconds into their power play. That made it a two-goal game.


``Yeah, we came back, and I thought we had a pretty good second period. It's hard when you chase, especially a team like this with a strong goalie and strong defensive play, it's hard to chase the whole game.’’


Frolov’s goal, late in the first period, pulled the Kings within one, and even though the Kings had their moments in the second and third periods, they were outshot 19-13 and were rarely a threat to Luongo.


With the victory, the Kings could have passed idle Washington for most points in the NHL. Instead, they had their streak of recording a point in eight consecutive games snapped after a 7-0-1 run.


The Kings face another game Tuesday at Edmonton, a team on a five-game winning streak.


``Everybody is coming to play a good game now,’’ Murray said. ``That's to be expected, whenever you're in the playoff hunt and playing well as a group. You've got to expect the best competition coming from the opposition.’’


The Canucks have certainly given the Kings their best this season. They’ve now beaten the Kings twice with Luongo and once with his backup, Andrew Raycroft, and on Monday, the Canucks didn’t waste in any time in handing Luongo a lead.


The Canucks took the lead 1:04 into the game. Mason Raymond took the shot from above the faceoff circle, Mikael Samuelsson deflected the puck and Kesler jumped on it and tucked it behind Quick. Murray called his timeout, but 10 seconds later, Kings defenseman Randy Jones was whistled for hooking.


Later in the period, the Kings had a 46-second 5-on-3 advantage, a 1:14 5-on-4 advantage, and generated little. Then, seven seconds after the power play ended, Jack Johnson got called for holding.


Seven seconds later, the twin combination of Henrik and Daniel Sedin worked the puck to Sami Salo, who picked out the top right corner of the net and beat Quick with 2:45 left in the first period.


``They played a good game,’’ Quick said of the Canucks. ``They worked the cycle, and the Sedins are two of the best in the league at that cycle they do. We didn't come out as strong as we wanted to. We didn't play that first 20 as well as we wanted to.


``It's not an easy task, coming into this rink and taking control in the first period, but you still have to compete and fight off that wave of momentum that they throw at you right at the beginning. We didn't do a great job of handling that.’’


The Kings stayed in the game, though. Just 2:28 after the Canucks took a two-goal lead, Jones took a point shot that Luongo stopped, but the rebound hopped into the slot and Frolov knocked the puck past Luongo with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.


The Canucks took a two-goal lead with 5:12 remaining in the third period when Kesler made a quick pass to his left, from the slot, and Raymond skated it, cut to the front of the net and slipped the puck five-hole on Quick.

scoring summary
1st Period
Ryan Kesler (8) ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (12), Mason Raymond (10)
1 - 0 VAN
PPG - Sami Salo (2) ASST: Daniel Sedin (12), Henrik Sedin (28)
2 - 0 VAN
Alex Frolov (9) ASST: Randy Jones (8), Anze Kopitar (22)
2 - 1 VAN
2nd Period
3rd Period
Mason Raymond (12) ASST: Ryan Kesler (21), Shane O'Brien (2)
3 - 1 VAN
penalty summary
1st Period
Randy Jones  Hooking against  Mason Raymond
Jarret Stoll  Roughing against  Henrik Sedin
Henrik Sedin  Holding the stick against  Jarret Stoll
Christian Ehrhoff  Interference against  Brad Richardson
Sami Salo  Interference against  Alex Frolov
Jack Johnson  Holding against  Henrik Sedin
2nd Period
Ryan Kesler  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jonathan Quick
Randy Jones  Hooking against  Christian Ehrhoff
Alexandre Burrows  Boarding against  Drew Doughty
3rd Period
Sean O'Donnell  Interference against  Tanner Glass
Kyle Wellwood  Hooking against  Dustin Brown
Drew Doughty  Hooking against  Ryan Kesler
goalie stats
Jonathan Quick
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 25EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .893SH: 1 - 1
Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo
SA: 25TOI: 59:50
Saves: 24EV: 17 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .960SH: 0 - 0