You want to know what happened in the Canucks game and you want to know now. We get it. Here’s the bare bones recap of Vancouver’s 3-2 overtime loss to Los Angeles in Game 2 of their Western Conference series.
…Anze Kopitar found and converted a loose puck past Roberto Luongo on the power play at 7:28 of overtime to give Los Angeles a 3-2 win over Vancouver to even the best-of-seven Western Conference series at 1-1.
The Canucks, looking to become the first team to take a 2-0 series lead this post-season, held a 2-0 advantage midway through the opening period off goals from Steve Bernier and Mikael Samuelsson.
Vancouver slumbered once ahead allowing Los Angeles to climb back into the game; it took the Kings until the middle of the second to get on the scoreboard, but they added a second goal 35 later to even the game at 2-2.
Mirroring Game 1, neither team scored in the third, despite back and forth play that had both teams threatening.
Overtime was controlled by the Canucks as they hit Jonathan Quick with four shots before the Kings had two, but LA’s second counted as the golden goal.
Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for Vancouver, while Quick finished with 24 stops.
The only player noticeably quiet in the first game of this series was Ryan Kesler. He made up for it with an outstanding second game.
Skating with Mikael Samuelsson and Pavol Demitra, Kesler set up Vancouver’s first goal and collected the second helper to put the home side up 2-0; he had 25:21 of ice time, a high for Canucks forwards, playing at even strength, shorthanded and on the power play.
Kesler had effort cranked to max and his full stat line reflected that: two shots, two hits, three blocked shots, six takeaways and a 7-for-11 showing in the faceoff circle.
It wasn’t as flashy as the top line and didn’t affect the scoresheet like the second trio, but Vancouver’s third line of Mason Raymond, Kyle Wellwood and Jannik Hansen played a major role in Game 2.
Raymond was a firecracker for the second consecutive contest using his speed to evade defenders and generate scoring chances, he hit the goal three times and now has six shots in two games.
Wellwood set up Kesler for a cross-ice one-timer that led to Bernier’s goal, he wasn’t a scoring threat, but his swift passing in tight situations in the LA end helped his line maintain prolonged pressure on the Kings.
Hansen, coming off one of his best games with the Canucks, had another stellar outing as he brought unparalleled effort to the ice winning the battle for loose pucks along the boards with regularity. He was also a physical presence finishing second on Vancouver with four hits.
This was Los Angeles’ seventh consecutive overtime game dating back to the regular season, clearly the Kings are one of those teams that knows it ain’t over until it’s over.
Vancouver isn’t a huge fan of overtime, even though they came out on top in the extra session in Game 1. The Canucks now sport an all-time OT record of 22-23 in the playoffs and they’re 3-4 versus the Kings.
With how even this series has been through two games and considering the Canucks were first in the NHL in third period comebacks with 11 and the Kings were tied for second with eight, this best-of-seven could end up being very time consuming.
Alain Vigneault on the evenly played games and the too-many-men penalty called against his team in overtime that led to the game-winning goal:
”It was a game that resembled a lot the first game, there’s not much difference between both teams, both teams are battling real hard, there’s two points separating us from them in the regular season, both games went to overtime. It’s playoff hockey and it’s real tight.
”It was the wrong call. You’re allowed five feet and the rule is the player coming on the ice cannot play the puck, that puck touched one of our players, it touched Kevin Bieksa trying to get off the ice because he was cut. You’ve got two referees that have red stripes on their sweaters, they should make the call if they think it’s a penalty, not the linesman. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.”
The series now shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3 & 4, which will play out Monday and Wednesday nights at the Staples Center.
In eight games played in LA during the last three times these teams met in the post-season, the Canucks and Kings are even with four wins each with the home side having scored one more goal, 36-35.