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 5-3 loss to Los Angeles in Game 3 of their Western Conference series.
...Ryan Smyth’s wrist shot from a few strides inside the Vancouver blueline hit Christian Ehrhoff and fluttered over the outstretched glove of Andrew Raycroft to put Los Angeles up 5-3 and spoil Vancouver’s comeback attempt.
The first Kings home playoff game in 2,913 days began with the Canucks jumping out to a 1-0 lead 2:09 in after Mason Raymond slid a one-timer from Ryan Kesler past Jonathan Quick.
Drew Doughty helped Los Angeles respond on the power play at the 11 minute mark with a point shot that grazed the blade of a diving Alex Burrows and caught the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.
The Kings continued their power play dominance with back-to-back scores at 4:06 and 12:18 of the second frame before the home side added another to take a 4-1 lead.
The fourth goal was the last straw for Roberto Luongo, who has allowed 12 goals in last two showings at the Staples Center. Luongo was replaced by Andrew Raycroft at 13:21 of the second; Raycroft’s last playoff action came in 2003-04 as a member of the Boston Bruins.
The goalie swap sparked the Canucks as Mikael Samuelsson cut the LA lead to 4-2 with his fourth goal of the post-season 1:32 after the Kings strike.
Vancouver trimmed the Los Angeles lead again early in the third, or so Canucks fans thought. Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin appeared to connect on a goal in front of Quick with the puck deflecting off Danny’s skate and in, but it was ruled that the puck was propelled into the net with kicking motion.
Daniel and the Canucks got their revenge on the botched call 1:12 after the no-goal when, with Burrows taking away Quick’s sight line, Daniel snapped a shot on goal that flew top shelf.
That’s as close as Vancouver came to tying the game; Smyth ended it with his floater with 10:39 to play.
Luongo allowed four goals on 16 shots, while Raycroft made six saves.
Quick was again rock steady for the Kings with 25 stops.
For as much as the Kings came into this series prepared for the dizzying play of a few Swedes, it surely wasn’t Mikael Samuelsson they were concerned with.
Samuelsson has proven himself worthy of worry as through three games he’s been Vancouver’s most dangerous offensive weapon with four goals on 14 shots.
A strong forecheck from Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond led to the Samuelsson strike in Game 3, which rejuvenated a dragging Canucks group. Upon taking a pass from Kesler, Samuelsson picked the top corner with perfection to give Vancouver’s comeback a chance.
Only three games into the playoffs and Samuelsson already has five points (he also had an assist on the night), that’s eight off his career-high from the 2007-08 season when he won the Stanley Cup with Detroit. The Swedish sniper is one goal from his personal post-season best of five from his past two playoff runs.
First Wayne Simmonds, now Mason Raymond.
The Canucks forward became the second player in as many games to earn a line promotion as he went from skating with Jannik Hansen and Kyle Wellwood on the third trio in Game 2, to strutting his stuff with Kesler and Samuelsson in Game 3.
Similar to the success the Kings had with Simmonds in his new role, the Canucks benefited from Raymond on the second line as he put the visitors on the board 2:09 into the first.
Few dedicate as much effort to perfecting their craft than Raymond and he’s being rewarded for it with close to 20 minutes of ice time in each game this series.
The cause of Vancouver’s misery is clear: power play goals against.
In Game 3 Los Angeles was 3-for-3 on the man advantage scoring on half its shots taken; through three games the Kings have gone 7-for-12 with the Canucks in the box, good for a power play percentage of 58.3%.
Of LA’s 10 goals, only three have come with the teams at 5-on-5.
This was the eighth time in franchise post-season history the Canucks have allowed three power play goals against in one game.
Vancouver’s attempt to right the ship begins with practice Tuesday in preparation for a showdown in Los Angeles for Game 4 Wednesday.
In losing two of their first three games, the Canucks are now flirting with disaster, if history is an indication of how this series will play out. Vancouver has dropped two of three to open a series 13 times in franchise history and only three times have the Canucks been able to overturn the damage, most recently in the 2003 Western Conference Quarter-Final against the St. Louis Blues.