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The Goods: Edged by Kings

Thursday, 12.04.2012 / 2:30 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Edged by Kings
LOS ANGELES KINGS
4
Scoring summary
  1 2 3 OT1 OT2 OT3
LAK
VAN
1
1
1
1
2
0
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
VANCOUVER CANUCKS
LA leads best-of-seven series 1-0
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  • “If you give them two 5-on-3s and a five-minute power play, it’s tough to win a playoff game when you do that. We’ve got to execute better, be sharper and we’re going to come back better.”-- Henrik Sedin, assessing the game

    “We didn’t win, so obviously there’s room for improvement.”-- Roberto Luongo, short and sweet

Stay out the box, stay in the series.

Maybe that should have been the official hashtag of the opening round of the Western Conference Quarter-Final as the Vancouver Canucks played a man down for 12:36 Wednesday night and the Los Angeles Kings took advantage capturing Game 1 by a 4-2 final.

The Kings also captured home ice advantage with Game 2 set for Friday night in Vancouver.

The Canucks didn’t hang their heads following their first opening game loss of round one in six tries, but they know they have to be worlds better and worlds more disciplined.

Vancouver’s march to the penalty box had the Canucks take four first period minors, two of which led to lengthy 5-on-3 power plays for the Kings, and two minors and a five-minute boarding major in the second frame.

Although Los Angeles finished 1-for-6 on the man advantage, all that time killing penalties caught up with Vancouver on this night.

“Spending so much time in the box you waste a lot of energy defensively and the other team gains momentum out of it and feel good about feeling the puck and things like that,” said Alex Burrows, who opened the scoring.

“We spent a lot of energy killing penalties, so it’s tough to get momentum like that,” added Roberto Luongo. “That being said, we knew it was going to be a long series so we’ve just got to re-group here and come back next game.”

Luongo was the only reason this game wasn’t a blowout for the Kings by the third period as he finished with 35 saves, including 27 in the first 40 minutes. He did all he could and the Canucks made a game of this for as long as they could before poor execution finally caught up with them.

The playoffs are nothing without adversity and now that the back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy winners are down a game to the Kings, there’s plenty to go around.

The Canucks aren’t buying into it, despite being in unfamiliar territory. Vancouver held a 1-0 series lead in all four rounds during the 2011 NHL Playoffs.

“It’s fine,” said Luongo. “You face different scenarios every time and you’ve got to be able to handle all types of scenarios and I think we have the mental toughness in this locker room to regroup and come back next game.”

AND ANOTHER THING...
The Canucks were 0-for-5 on the power play with four shots. Vancouver has been blanked on the PP in 4 of its last 5 games.

HAPPY BURR-DAY

That’s just the birthday gift Alex Burrows was hoping for: a goal.

The feisty Canucks forward opened the scoring 4:17 into the first period on a play that had his first shot thwarted, but he stuck with the rebound, spun and snuck a wristshot past Jonathan Quick.

The goal extends Burrows’ point streak to six games, including five goals, dating back to the regular season; the 17th playoff goal of Burrows’ career also gives him 29 points (17-12-29) in 59 games, to move him into 13th place all-time in Canucks playoff scoring.

“I could care less about scoring goals, it’s about wins this time of year,” said Burrows. “I thought we can be better than this, we didn’t play our best and we spent a lot of time in the penalty box and were wasting a lot of time there on the PK.”

A DEBUT HE'LL REMEMBER

It didn’t take long for David Booth to make his presence felt in his NHL playoff debut.

On just his first shift of the game, Booth swung behind the LA Kings net with speed and steamrolled Drew Doughty making it clear he was ready to rock.

Booth was a standout on offence for the Canucks for much of the night producing a team-high four shots, with three more attempts blocked, in 14:37 of ice time, some spent on the top line with Henrik Sedin and Mason Raymond.

“It was really exciting, my heart was racing, there’s a lot of energy there,” said Booth of the atmosphere. “It was real exciting and I just wish we could have come out with a better result, but I think it just gives us a little bit more motivation for the next game.”