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The Goods: Topped by Kings

Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 10:30 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Topped by Kings
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It’s too harsh to say the Vancouver Canucks dropped the ball, but the timing fits.

The Canucks closed out a three-game road trip with a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night at the Staples Center on New Year’s Eve. Vancouver came together for team wins in San Jose and Anaheim earlier on the trip and it was a lack of team effort that had the Canucks close out 2011 in defeat.

A recipe for success for the Canucks has been scoring early, ideally in the first five minutes, and that’s how they opened their 39th game of the season. Kevin Bieksa pulled the trigger on his fourth goal of the campaign, off beautiful passing from Daniel and Henrik Sedin, to extend his point streak to six games.

That was all the celebrating the Canucks and their fans did on this night, until the ball actually dropped at 12 a.m.
to ring in 2012.

The Kings New Year’s Eve-ned (sorry) up the score midway through the first and took a 2-1 lead 8:20 into the second frame.

That’s when the game got away from the Canucks.

LA’s Mike Richards was assessed a double minor for high-sticking and Vancouver failed to capitalize on the ensuing four-minute power play; as luck would have it Anze Kopitar pounced on a puck moments after the Kings were back at even strength, he took it in alone on Roberto Luongo, outwaiting the Canucks keeper before scoring to give the Kings
a commanding 3-1 lead.

Everything was working against the Canucks, including the stats. The Kings were 9-0-0 when scoring three goals this season and 69-0-4 over the past 73 times they'd led after
two periods.

There was no Canucks comeback to be had as the Kings notched a fourth goal in the third and are now 10-0-0 when scoring three goals and 70-0-4 over the past 74 times
they've led after two periods.

The loss snaps Vancouver’s three-game winning streak, a victory would have given the Canucks the most wins in the league and moved them into 1st overall in the NHL, but
that’ll have to wait until 2012 – The Year of the Canuck.

Onward and upward.

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve or not, a plastic party hat and matching vest, with one of those annoying horns, is not appropriate attire. Never. Ever.
Tweet of the night - “@canucksgame Question: If you run into someone who has his #canucks jersey tucked into his jeans,
what should you do? I was confused..." -@nathan_warner, with a question no one should have to answer.
New Year's Eve - New Year’s Eve is overrated and the proof is in the Canucks record. Vancouver falls to
7-11-3 on the final day of the year, and 4-4-0 when playing it on the road.
Tasty turnover - The LA Clippers played Friday night at the Staples Center, the court was changed, then the Lakers played
Saturday afternoon, ending at 2:47 PST. By 5 p.m. the ice was ready for the Canucks and Kings. That's skill.
First cut is the deepest - And here I thought we were friends, CBC. The Canucks suffered their first loss on
Hockey Night in Canada this year in losing to the Kings; Vancouver is now 5-1-1.