Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Canucks Streak Snapped In L.A.

Penalty trouble cost the Canucks from reaching their first five-game winning streak of the season Monday night as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings. Vancouver was shorthanded six times through the first two periods and despite a strong final frame, were unable to take any points away from the Staples Center.

The Kings opened up the scoring with their first shot on net. Anze Kopitar won a face off in the Canucks zone back to the right point for Dennis Gauthier who wound up stepping into a slap shot. It wound up grazing off the glove hand of Roberto Luongo and into the net. Gauthier's 2nd of the season put the home team in the lead 3:35 into the game.

L.A. would head into the intermission break in a two-goal lead after converting on a power play chance. Alexander Frolov moved the puck to the bottom of the left face off circle for Teddy Purcell. He fed a nice pass through the slot for Jarret Stoll who was able to come in untouched behind the Vancouver penalty killers. Stoll made no mistake snapping home his 17th of the season at 12:17.

The shut-out bid of Kings rookie netminder Jonathan Quick game in the early part of the 2nd period. Daniel Sedin was able to clear the puck out of the Canucks end to centre ice for Alex Burrows. As soon as he skated to the Kings blue line, Burrows stepped into a bullet of a drive that wound up beating Quick under the glove hand. Burrows now has 19 on the year and it came 4:40 into the middle stanza.

The Canucks were not able to find a way to get an equalizer, thanks in large part to having to kill off four minor penalties in the period. With Mats Sundin in the box on an interference call, Stoll made the visitors pay and he scooped in a loose rebound opportunity beside the crease. Purcell and Kyle Quincey collect the helpers on what proved to be the game-winning marker at 12:51.

Vancouver was able to get back to within one in the third period as Taylor Pyatt's quick snap shot from the right face off circle beat Quick through the pads. Sami Salo and Ryan Johnson help Pyatt score his first goal in ten games. It was also his 8th of the season and it came at 5:26.

The Canucks continued to pour on the pressure for the remainder of the period, but were unable to beat Quick to force the game to overtime. Daniel Sedin had a great chance on a power play, but his wrist shot glanced off the post. Sundin and Burrows also had late chances with the extra attacker on the ice, but couldn't equalize. The Kings hung on for their third win in a row putting them three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Both teams finished the game tied in shots with 22 apiece. The Canucks went 0-for-4 on the power play while the Kings, who have had more power plays than any team in the NHL, wrapped up the night going 2-for-6.

Now with an overall record of 34-23-8, the Canucks will have the day off for practice on Tuesday in California. They'll be back on the ice Wednesday evening for a match-up against the Anaheim Ducks. Game time at the Honda Center will be 7:00pm PST.

No comments: