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The Goods: Canucks fall in Game 2

Saturday, 14.04.2012 / 1:50 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Canucks fall in Game 2
LOS ANGELES KINGS
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Scoring summary
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VAN
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VANCOUVER CANUCKS
LA leads best-of-seven series 2-0
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  • "It’s about wins, that’s where we are. The process is there, the power play is not going well for us and that’s why we’re losing games. I think we are patient, 5-on-5 we’re playing well enough to win the game. It comes down to special teams and that’s usually where we win games."-- Henrik Sedin, assessing the game

From bad to worse, Vancouver’s power play is going in reverse.

For the second consecutive game penalties cost the Canucks as they allowed two shorthanded goals and a power play score to the Kings in a 4-2 loss to Los Angeles, Friday night at Rogers Arena in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final.

Vancouver’s special teams were anything but as the power play went 0-for-5, to put the Canucks 0-for-10 in the series, and Los Angeles capitalized twice while down a man with a pair of Dustin Brown shorthanded goals, one late in the first period, the other early in the second.

That shouldn’t happen in the regular season, let alone the playoffs, and because of it the Canucks are in a hole down 2-0 in the series.

“Those are obviously momentum killers, you go out on the power play looking to generate chances and a couple unfortunate plays and it’s in the back of our net,” said Kevin Bieksa, addressing the Brown goals.

“There’s no secret we need to be better on our power play. We have to get on the same page, that’s what it comes down to. The five guys have to get on the same page.”

The Canucks have never opened a series with back-to-back losses on home ice and stunned would be an appropriate word to describe how players and fans alike are feeling.

The players will have an easier time exercising a short memory with Game 3 on the horizon Sunday in Los Angeles.

To pull out a win at the Staples Center, the Canucks need to continue their even-strength play, but buck up on special teams.

“It’s about wins, that’s where we are,” said Henrik Sedin. “The process is there, the power play is not going well for us and that’s why we’re losing games. I think we are patient, 5-on-5 we’re playing well enough to win the game. It comes down to special teams and that’s usually where we win games.”

Jannik Hansen and Samuel Pahlsson scored the Canucks; Hansen made it a 1-1 game 17 seconds into the second period and Pahlsson scored 16:22 into the third period to cut into Kings lead and give the Canucks a glimmer of hope.

Roberto Luongo made 22 saves and he was there when the Canucks needed him, although he took all the blame for Brown’s second shorthanded goal, the one that knocked Vancouver off its game seemingly for good on this night.

Post-game he said he had already moved on.

“You have to, that’s the only way you can bounce back,” said Luongo. “What’s done is done right now, I think we have a good group of guys here, we’ve proved that all year that when we face adversity, we come out and we play hard. Right now it’s all about next game.

“It’s important for us to turn the page and focus on one thing and one thing only and that’s next game,” added Luongo. “There’s no point at looking at the big picture right now, we’ve got to focus on going in there and winning the next game.”

What it comes down to is Vancouver winning four of the next five games, three of which will be played in Los Angeles.

It’s a tall task, sure, but the Canucks, back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy winners, who had the second best road record in the NHL this season, have the tools to be get it done.

AND ANOTHER THING...
It pains me to bring up the Boston Bruins, but they lost Games 1 & 2 on home ice in Round 1 last year...