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Kopitar's overtime goal lifts Kings past Canucks

by Curtis Zupke /

LOS ANGELES -- Overtime has gone so well for the Los Angeles Kings this season that they look forward to it.

Anze Kopitar scored at 2:02 of overtime to give the Kings a 2-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center on Tuesday. He converted Jeff Carter's pass on the right side after Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler tried to make a cross-ice pass in his own zone.

A Vancouver penalty had expired earlier in overtime, and Kopitar said he and Carter discussed playing 4-on-4, but then there was a stoppage.

"We were up next," Kopitar said. "We looked at each other and kind of said that we want to get the whistle and get the 3-on-3 going. It worked out pretty well tonight."

That wasn't the case last season, when the Kings were 1-7 in overtime. They are 4-0 this season.

"Those are huge points at the end of the year," Kopitar said. "We all know that a huge part of us not making the playoffs was the shootout record and the overtime record, so getting the extra point was very important."

Kopitar scored the overtime winner after the Kings outshot the Canucks 15-1 and got the tying goal in the third period but couldn't break through against Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, who made 38 saves.

It wasn't enough for Vancouver, which is 0-7 in overtime and 3-7-7 in one-goal games.

"It's really tough," Markstrom said. "We were winning the game for almost 50 minutes and then [they got] a goal in the third and overtime. It's getting sick and tired right now losing in overtime. It's no fun."

Drew Doughty tied it 1-1 at 6:54 of the third with a slap shot through traffic on the power play. Nick Shore worked the puck from the boards and screened Markstrom, who made saves on the previous 27 shots.

"We're never going to be denied," Doughty said. "We know how important this game was. It was a division game for us, a team that's just barely trailing us in the standings right now. We just never gave up. Our team has a lot of heart … we absolutely hate losing. That's why we came back."

Daniel Sedin gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 7:39 of the first period on his 12th goal of the season and eighth in 11 games. His one-timer from the right side beat Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick five-hole on the power play. Milan Lucic was serving a high-sticking penalty, one of three offensive-zone penalties taken by the Kings.

Markstrom made 22 saves through the first two periods, including 12 in the first, several on high-quality chances for Los Angeles. He got a piece of Alec Martinez's shot that trickled behind him and slid wide of the net, then denied Jordan Nolan breaking in from the penalty box in the second period.

But the Canucks couldn't make him victorious after the Kings controlled the final 22 minutes.

The depleted Canucks might have been fatigued from a 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. They went 1-1-2 on a four-game trip.

"We weren't great in the third," Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said. "They're a good team, and we knew they'd come hard. They got some power plays in the third that makes a difference as well. We need to be more alert."

Vancouver defenseman Andrey Pedan made his NHL debut and played left wing because forwards Jake Virtanen and Chris Higgins, as well as defenseman Christopher Tanev, each was out because of an upper-body injury. Defenseman Alex Biega was recalled and paired with Edler.

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