What a let-down. After playing well, and dominating large stretches of the match, the Kings were unable to finish the Canucks off, and ended up giving up points to their conference rivals, the Vancouver Canucks. The game was a low-scoring affair, and in many respects was eerily similar to the San Jose Sharks match the game before. The Canucks came into the game shorthanded, playing without star players Roberto Luongo, Pavol Demitra, Daniel Sedin and a host of other supporting players. Despite this disadvantage, the Canucks played a strong defensive game, helped by stellar play by goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
The Kings did have a couple sparks to feel proud of, including the determined play across the board. While they were unable to finish off most of their chances, the fact that they continued to push forward, and attack is a hopeful sign for the future. Scott Parse, he of only four NHL games in his career, who had been toiling away in the AHL for the season thus far has been a revelation. In four games, he’s put together 1G and 2 A, just under a point per game, and besting Trevor Lewis’ output of 0P in 5 games. His strong play actually allowed the Kings to send Lewis back to Manchester, where he can get regular playing time, and hopefully find his game again.
After Parse made it 1-0, the Kings let the Canucks back in the game, when Samuelsson blasted home a one-timer from the slot, to tie it at 1-1 near the end of the 1st period. That was it for scoring. There were some decent plays afterward, including a dazzling move by Kopitar in the closing seconds, which nearly allowed the Kings to pull out the win, but bad bounces, and stellar goaltending by Raycroft kept the game knotted at 1-1. After an uneventful overtime, the shootout began. After the requisite three shootout attempts, the Canucks ended up on top, finishing the game off, 2-1.
Despite the disappointment of the loss, the Kings did come away with a point. It may seem like small consolation to a team that should be able to get both points against a shorthanded team, while playing at home, but remember this remains a young team. Their players are still developing and learning to play in different situations and circumstances. They played well overall last night, and hopefully will soon take the step necessary to bring their results, and their team, to the next level.
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