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Kings host first playoff game since 2002 vs. Canucks

by Dave Lozo

(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)

Big Story --
Through 20 minutes of Game 2, it looked as if Vancouver was going to storm through the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks held a 2-0 lead and appeared to be in full command. But the Kings scored three unanswered, including Anze Kopitar's overtime winner, to even the series. The Kings scored two power-play goals in Game 2 and are 4-for-9 on the power play in the series.

Team Scope:

Kings -- They never looked like a team full of inexperience, but after Saturday's 3-2 win in Game 2 at GM Place, the Kings have every reason to believe they can hang with the Canucks in this series. Terry Murray's lineup changes paid huge dividends, and now the Kings have home-ice advantage in what has become a best-of-five series.

"It does feel different, as far as the series goes," said Rob Scuderi, who drew the penalty on Kopitar's game-winning goal by shooting the puck into a crowd of Canucks during a line change, resulting in a penalty for too many men on the ice.

"But as a young team that hasn't been in the playoffs, we're really trying to focus on what we can do game to game. I thought that was our biggest attribute tonight, that we just focused on (Game 2). If we could have evened it up, we wanted to even it up, but we were more focused on the way we played. But certainly we're glad to be heading home with it 1-1."

Canucks -- It's possible if the Canucks could've taken a 3-0 lead in Game 2 that they would've rolled the rest of the way and built an insurmountable lead in the series. Instead, they took a slew of penalties and let the Kings back in the game and in the series.

Going into Game 3, the Canucks know if they can minimize the penalties, they can take back the series.

"When you give a team six, seven power plays, they are going to capitalize on one," Ryan Kesler said. "We've got to figure it out and stay out of the box."

"Obviously it's going to be tough to win hockey games being in the box like that," said Roberto Luongo. "You've got to give those guys credit on the other side. They came out, they were down two goals early, but they stuck with it and they played a pretty good road game."
Who's Hot --
For the Kings, Fredik Modin has two power-play goals in two games. … Mikael Samuelsson followed his two-goal performance in Game 1 by scoring his third of the series in Game 2.

Injury Report -- The Kings remain healthy. … For the Canucks, it's possible defenseman Aaron Rome could find his way into the lineup. He's been practicing with the team, and he's a viable option if Alain Vigneault wants to replace Andrew Alberts, who has taken five penalties that have left his team shorthanded in the first two games of the series.

Stat Pack --
Six Kings have picked up their first career playoff points in the series. Neither of the Canucks rookies who have played in the series (Matt Pettinger, Michael Grabner) have a point, and they have just one shot between them.

Puck Drop -- "The young guys played well, played like veterans for me. I thought they showed a lot of composure, did the right things. A lot of good things from the team tonight." -- Kings coach Terry Murray after Game 2

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