Game 5: Kings Win 3-2 (SO), improve to 2-2-1
LOS ANGELES – As soon as the schedule was released, the Vancouver Canucks surely circled tonight’s date on their calendars as they were hoping to seek revenge against the team that punted them from the playoffs last spring. Despite their subpar start to the seaspm, the Los Angeles Kings have played better as of late and tonight, they were out to show that their success against Vancouver last April was no mistake.
Playing in only their second home game of the year, the Kings were hoping to avenge their 5-2 home loss to Chicago nine days ago. They may not have started well but it’s you finish as far as the Kings are concerned and they proved that tonight as they were determined to send their fans home happy, like they were when they arrived to receive their replica championship rings.
After goals by Zach Kassian and Alex Burrows to give the Canucks a 2-0, the Kings looked to be down and out. Trying to take advantage of a team who had just played the previous night, Los Angeles had a tough time putting anything in the net. Of course, Roberto Luongo, who started in goal for Vancouver tonight, had plenty of rest as this was his start in eight days.
The Kings entered tonight’s game as one of the two teams yet to score a power play goal this season. Thankfully, Jeff Carter changed that, scoring in the final minutes of the second to put the Kings on the board. The tally was Carter’s third in as many games and in addition to their first power play marker, Mike Richards got his first point of the season picking up the assist.
Despite their sudden surge in momentum, the Kings could barely muster anything in the third as they only record six shots. Of course, the Canucks were only able to manage three. Luongo, to his credit, played great all game but the Kings were finally able to tie as, with Quick on the bench for the extra attacker, Slava Voynov took a point shot that found its way through. Whether it was tipped or not was debatable but nevertheless, Voynov got credit with his first with just 42 seconds remaining in regulation.
After overtime settled nothing, the two teams went to the shootout where the Kings prevailed thanks to a beautiful goal by Jeff Carter. Then, Jonathan Quick stopped Zach Kassian to preserve the win and put the Kings at .500 giving them their first home win of the season.
Despite still missing Willie Mitchell, the Kings played an extraordinary defensive game tonight. Jeff Carter broke up a breakaway in the first tonight without taking a penalty, Drew Doughty was very alert as was Alec Martinez but the real defensive hero tonight was veteran Rob Scuderi whose efforts took away two Canuck goals, the first a sliding stop with his stick in the third to keep Vancouver from restoring their two-goal lead and the second in final minute of overtime to keep the Kings from losing. With that said, still a great effort from Los Angeles’ defensive unit overall.
En route to the victory, Jonathan Quick, while not quite as busy as his counterpart, stopped 21 shots making some timely saves along the way as he is so prone to do.
It’s now a couple days off for the resurgent Kings who will next be in action on Thursday night when they play host to the Nashville Predators.