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Quick leads Kings to shootout win over Canucks

by Kevin Woodley
VANCOUVER -- The Los Angeles Kings are getting comfortable in extra time.

They've certainly had plenty of practice at it lately.

Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots through overtime, and two of three in the shootout before Mike Richards beat Roberto Luongo high on the glove side in the final round to secure the Kings' 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday night.

"I thought we were due in the shootout," said Justin Williams, who scored in regulation and again in the first round of the shootout, helping end the Kings' three-game losing streak in the 1-on-1 showdown and improve them to 4-5 in it overall. "So we finally got one there."

It was the ninth time in 15 games the Kings played past regulation. They improved to 9-1-5 in that stretch -- all but the first win since Darryl Sutter took over as coach.

"The only game we've lost has been a 1-0 game," Williams said. "We are in every game, we're competing hard. We'd like to be on the better end of the overtime losses -- I think we lead the League in those -- but at the same time, I like the way we're playing right now."

They sure looked good early, outshooting the Canucks badly, with several brilliant saves from Luongo the only reason they didn't run away with the game in the first period.

Dustin Penner ended an almost six-week goal drought 9:06 in as the Kings finished a three-game, four-night road trip through Western Canada with a 2-0-1 record.

"Two points here gives us a great road trip," said Quick, who made 32 saves. "Five out of six isn't easy to do coming up here to the Northwest, so we're happy with what we did and looking forward to getting back home and playing some home games."

The mood was decidedly less positive in the home locker room, even after salvaging a point. For that the Canucks can thank Luongo, whose 39 saves included stopping seven odd-man rushes and a breakaway -- by coach Alain Vigneault's count -- most of them in the first eight minutes of the game.

He denied Penner on an early 2-on-1, sprawled to his left to deny Williams' one-timer on a 2-on-1 feed from Anze Kopitar, stopped Brad Richardson on a 3-on-2 and threw out the left pad on a Kyle Clifford breakaway. He added another pretty glove stop on Penner at the nine-minute mark, but couldn't stop Penner on a screen and deflection of Drew Doughty's one-time blast from the point six seconds later.

"Sometimes that's going to happen and it's up to me to make some saves and try and keep the guys in it," said Luongo, who is still one win from the Canucks' record of 211. "Unfortunately they had that tip-in, but we responded well in the second period."

Daniel Sedin scored on a power play 2:41 into the second, and David Booth tied it five minutes into the third as the Canucks recovered from a second-straight slow start to get a point, staying one behind Detroit atop the west. The start cost them a chance for more.

"We definitely were not good in the first period except for our goaltender," said Vigneailt, declining to expand on a first intermission speech his players said was spirited. "It's tough to explain why, especially after the way we played the game prior."

The Kings even got a goal from Penner – his first in 18 games and third of the season -- who gained notoriety for missing a Jan. 7 game after throwing out his back while sitting down to eat his wife's "delicious" pancakes. Canucks fans responded with a bottle of syrup behind the L.A. bench, but the goalies were the stickiest things on Tuesday night.

Quick flashed some leather to deny Ryan Kesler on a labeled wrist shot off the win 32 seconds into the second period. Williams restored the lead with eight seconds left in the Kings' first power play, after Luongo's blocker save on a point shot from ex-Canuck Willie Mitchell bounced to Williams at the side of the net for a quick, high put back.

It was the sixth goal in the last five games for an improving Kings' power play that is still ranked just 21st in the NHL, a much-needed boost for the League's lowest scoring team. But the lack of run support doesn't seem to phase Quick, who was almost as good late as Luongo was early.

"When we did have breakdowns, Quickie was there to make big saves," said Richards. "He always steps up when we need him and he's won us a lot of games. Some of the games are 0-0, 1-1 -- things like that -- and it's nice to give him the win. He works hard, he keeps us in a ton of hockey games, which he did tonight."

The difference this time was they found a way to win it after regulation. The bonus of playing in those situations so often is a team used to tight games and high pressure. The Kings are now 73-0-5 since April 2009 when leading after two periods.

"This is a young team, but it's not a rookie team," Williams said. "We've been through this before. Guys have played in Olympics, close games, a lot of intense situations."

And this season, a lot of overtime, too.
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