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Canucks at a loss to explain leaky PK

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Canucks at a loss to explain leaky PK
The Vancouver Canucks don't have an explanation as to why their penalty killing has fallen short against the Kings.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- As great as the Kings' power play has been so far in the playoffs, there's another side to that coin. The penalty killing of the Canucks has been abysmal, and it's the No. 1 reason Vancouver is down 2-1 in its best-of-seven series with Los Angeles.

The Kings are 7-for-12 on the power play after going 3-for-3 in Game 3 Monday night. Alex Burrows, who was on the ice for all three of the Kings' power-play goals in Game 3, says it's not about effort. It's about doing a better job and not making Los Angeles look invincible with the man-advantage.

"I'm not questioning anybody's will right now," Burrows said. "Everybody wants to do well and wants to block those shots and wants to do well for this team. That's a guarantee. I know these guys in the locker room want to battle and want to win. At the same time, we have to make better reads."

"Everybody wants to do well and wants to block those shots and wants to do well for this team. That's a guarantee. I know these guys in the locker room want to battle and want to win. At the same time, we have to make better reads." -- Alex Burrows

The Canucks have blocked just 39 shots in the series, while the Kings have blocked 54. A big part of the problem has been the Canucks' inability to stop Kings defensemen Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty. They are moving well and just about all of their shots are finding their way to goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Johnson knows the power play can't keep up this record pace, but he puts more stock into what his team is doing right as opposed to what the Canucks are doing wrong.

"I think it's a lot of things coming together," he said. "Drew (Doughty) and I have great chemistry out at the blue line. Forwards are retrieving pucks, they're winning all the loose-puck battles. It seems like every rebound is going right on their tape. That's just great puck luck. Hopefully it lasts as long as it can."

As good as the duo has been in this series -- they have combined for a goal and 9 assists -- Burrows isn't ready to anoint them the new Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom of point men on the power play.

"They're not doing anything different than other guys in the League," Burrows said. "I just think they're getting their pucks through. We just have to find ways to stay in position."

The Canucks held an optional skate Tuesday at the Toyota Sports Center, the practice facility of the Kings. It wasn't dedicated to working out the kinks on the penalty kill, but Luongo says the rest of the day will be spent breaking down film.

"It's all about making adjustments," he said. "We're going to take a look at some film this afternoon and get together and make adjustments. That's what a playoff series is all about. Just like L.A. made adjustments off of the first game, we have got to make some adjustments now."

Coach Alain Vigneault isn't ready to change up the penalty-killing unit, either.

"We've got some really good players that kill penalties for us that have done a great job through my time here," he said, "and for whatever reason right now, we're maybe a half a second behind, and that half a second behind is opening up lanes where there getting point shots, and the point shots are either getting tipped or finding the back of our net. We're going to spend a little time with our group here in the next little while and hopefully we'll get it back on track."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter at: @DLozoNHL
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