After losing their 2012 NHL Playoff debut Wednesday night, the Vancouver Canucks are already down one in this much anticipated series.
Sure, the Canucks were playing without assistant captain Daniel Sedin, but there was no excuse for key players such as David Booth, Henrik Sedin and Dan Hamhuis to be so insignificant throughout the game.
Though the Canucks did strike early, Alexandre Burrows netting a goal just 4:17 into the first. Mike Richards of the LA Kings wrist shot on Roberto Luongo tied the game 1-1. The action continued late in the second period, where the Kings Willie Mitchell capitalized on their 5 minute power play with a slap shot from the point. It was Alexander Edler who ended the Kings lead, scoring on Jonathon Quick with 8 seconds to go in the period.
Late into the third the Kings momentum picked up as Dustin Penner tipped the puck past Roberto Luongo, the Kings surpassing the Canucks once again. In the dying seconds of the third, the Canucks pulled their goalie, consequentially ending in an empty netter for Kings right winger Dustin Brown. The game ended 4-2.
The Vancouver Canucks spent much of the first two periods shorthanded, resulting in shots 29-14 in favour of the LA Kings. The Canucks took seven penalty’s in total, including a major and game misconduct from Byron Bitz. Bitz, penalized for boarding, has been given a two game suspension.
“There were a lot of penalties and that disrupted us,” Canucks defender Sami Salo stated. “They just found a way to win.”
For the Los Angeles Kings finishing eighth in the Western Conference didn’t mean anything. Playing a determined and composed game helped them earn 39 shots on goal – contrasting the Canucks 26.
The Vancouver Canucks will be aiming to tie up the series – capitalize on opportunities as well keep collected and disciplined during the game. Continuing on with the momentum they built Wednesday night the Los Angeles Kings will try to increase their early series lead to 2-0. This series continues Friday night in Vancouver at Rogers Arena.