The Goods: Canucks edged in shootout
Another slow start, another unsatisfying finish.
The Vancouver Canucks dropped their second consecutive game on home ice Tuesday losing to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in a shootout at Rogers Arena.
Similar to 48 hours earlier against the Anaheim Ducks, the Canucks were badly outplayed in the early going, they gave up shots, chances and a goal, and again, were it not for Roberto Luongo, the hole would have been much deeper.
Luongo made 14 saves in the first period, many showstoppers, to keep the Kings at bay and give the Canucks a chance.
Vancouver replied by replying on the scoreboard as Daniel Sedin scored his 20th goal of the season, on the power
play, 2:41 into the second period. The game remained even at 1-1 until the Kings struck again late in the second, also on the power play, forcing a third period comeback if the Canucks hoped to avoid losing back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since early November.
Coming back against the Kings is a tall task to say the least. Going into the game Los Angeles had gone 77 consecutive games without blowing a lead going into the third period
For what it’s worth, the Canucks came close to erasing the Kings’ zero.
A win wasn’t in the cards as a pair of Kings beat Luongo in the shootout after overtime solved nothing, while Alex Burrows was the only Canucks player to score on Jonathan Quick.
The Canucks managed to come away with a point, but with a better start it could have been two.
“I don’t think it was about being ready, it was about execution mostly,” said Henrik Sedin. “I think we had our legs, we came in on the forecheck, but we gave up 3-on-2s,
2-on-1s, breakaways because we didn’t make the right reads and that’s on everyone, it’s on the forwards and on the Ds.”
The only player worthy of praise in the early going was Luongo and he got it from everyone post-game.
“He’s been unbelievable the last month and a half, he keeps us games and he was great tonight again in the first period,” added Henrik.
What was Luongo thinking when the Canucks were falling apart at the seams in the early going?
“A few things,” Luongo smirked post-game. “Sometimes that’s going to happen and it’s up to me to make some saves and try to keep the guys in it and unfortunately we had
that tip in, but we responded well in the second period.”
The second period fight may have been spurred on by some choice words Canucks coach Alain Vigneault had for his troops after 20 minutes of play.
What he said remains between him and the players, but Vancouver found its game in the second half of this contest so it clearly worked.
“Sometimes what happens in the dressing room and what is said in the dressing room has to stay there, but I’ve got a very professional and mature group and we’ve got three
days here until San Jose to get ready.”
The Canucks will take Wednesday off before practicing Thursday and Friday in preparation for Saturday’s matinee 1 p.m. game. A few days without game action is just what the doctor ordered for a clearly worn down Canucks team.
“I think it’s been a pretty hectic schedule the last little while,” said Luongo, “so it’s going to be nice to have a couple of days to regroup and get ready for the last couple of
games before the all-star break.”
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