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Kings allow just 13 shots but lose to Canucks

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- A season-low 13 shots on goal and a weak power play are hardly a good combination against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

An injury-stricken lineup usually doesn't help much, either.

But Cory Schneider and the Vancouver Canucks somehow pulled out a 1-0 win Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings in an offensively stagnant matinee that sent both teams in different directions.

Schneider made 20 saves and Mason Raymond scored in the first period to give the Canucks their first three-game winning streak in a month. Schneider needed to make several clutch stops for his sixth career shutout with help from a defense that was without the suspended Alexander Edler.

"One of the harder 20-save efforts I've had," Schneider said. "I've made 40 saves and worked not as hard as that. They crashed the net, they screen. They throw pucks at the net. It makes life hard. They got some big bodies down there, so I think our defensemen did a great job handling them down low and not giving them too much time and space and our forwards came down and helped and cleared out rebounds."

Los Angeles was shut out for the second straight game and ended what was a stellar homestand on a 126:14 scoreless streak going into a – gulp – Monday matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. What will it take to score?

"The way it usually goes – it's going to go in off somebody's skate or somebody's [butt], and we'll get on the board and the flood gates are going to open," Anze Kopitar said in a sullen Kings' locker room.

Vancouver generally stuck to a chip-and-chase game until Jordan Schroeder delivered a terrific tape-to-tape stretch pass to Raymond. He streaked down the right side, got behind Jake Muzzin and beat Jonathan Quick through the five-hole at 11:06.

"It was a great look by Schroeder," Raymond said. "He even threaded it through the guy's triangle. When his stick was down there I even called the triangle anyway. We were able to capitalize on that. We didn't have a lot of shots."

Vancouver put one shot on goal in the first 15 minutes of the third and four total for the final 20 minutes.

Schneider did the rest. He denied Trevor Lewis' second shorthanded bid when he slid over to stop him on a 2-on-1 with Mike Richards in the second period. Dustin Penner got two whacks at the puck at the goalmouth in the third, but Schneider denied him.

Schneider has stopped 145 of 151 shots in five career games against the Kings.

"He's been very good," Henrik Sedin said. "When you play a game like this, you're going to give up a few chances here and there, and if you do, you need your goalie to do this. If you give up a goal or two against these guys, it's a tough building to play in."

The Kings had a different perspective on Schneider's 20-save effort. They talked about needing to get more bodies in front and the so-called "greasy" goals. Los Angeles not only squandered its first two power plays, but totaled just one shot, much to the dismay of the home crowd.

"You see when this team is playing really well on the offense [side of] the puck it's generally not the really pretty goals," Dustin Brown said. "A lot of goalies will make that first save it's getting around the net and pouncing on those loose [pucks], and again we're not making it hard enough on the opposing goaltenders right now."

It's only two games, but this has the feel of last season when L.A.'s awful scoring woes facilitated a trade for Jeff Carter. Coach Darryl Sutter doesn't have many options other than 20-year-old rookie Tyler Toffoli, and he said he's not inclined to change his lines.

"Right now, [Kopitar], [Brown], [Justin Williams], Jeff [Carter], Mike [Richards], [Lewis] and Jarret [Stoll] … are all having trouble scoring right now," Sutter said. "So I'm more inclined to listen to what they tell me more than I tell them, right? It's difficult when you're just playing to say that you're going switch lines up. That's like giving me a map to a place I don't know."

Overlooked was the upward trend of Quick, who has stopped 58 of 61 shots the past two games. He got his left leg down to thwart Keith Ballard late in the second period to prevent a 2-0 deficit.

Vancouver could not take advantage of two needless penalties by L.A. in the third period. Williams interfered with Alexandre Burrows in Vancouver's zone and Penner boarded Christoper Tanev nearly 200 feet from his own net.

The Canucks put one shot on goal those power plays and saw their slump reach 1-for-43. No one was crunching the numbers, though, on a team missing Ryan Kesler, David Booth and Zack Kassian, among others.

"We're missing a lot of guys," Henrik Sedin said. "I think people got to realize where we are. I think this team has shown up every night. We're not going to score four or five goals tonight, but the effort we've given … the last five, six, seven games … we knew the wins were going to come."

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