Canucks beat Kings 2-1, stave off playoff elimination

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson and #7 David Booth celebrate Richardson's game winning goal over the LA Kingsl in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson and #7 David Booth celebrate Richardson's game winning goal over the LA Kingsl in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG

The Vancouver Canucks must have felt like they were California Dreaming. They actually beat the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

The Canucks came from behind to defeat the Kings 2-1 at Rogers Arena and keep their extremely slim playoff hopes flickering for at least another day.

Brad Richardson scored the winner, on a set-up from linemate Zack Kassian, at 18:37 of the third period.

After the Dallas Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 earlier Saturday, the Canucks needed at least one point to remain mathematically alive in the playoff race.

They at least postponed the inevitable.

“We played, I think, like we did before Christmas,” said captain Henrik Sedin. “We iced a lineup that was healthy, as healthy as it has been this year, and we were able to be aggressive, play the way we know we can. We have been in a lot of tight games this year against these guys and we haven’t won them. But we were able to win tonight so it feels good.”

The win was the first in five meetings against the Kings this season for Vancouver. It was also only Vancouver’s second win all season over the three California teams. The Canucks are now 2-8-3 versus the Kings, Anaheim and San Jose this season.

“Our whole division we haven’t been great against, but especially those California teams we have really struggled,” said Richardson, a former King. “They are a tough teams so it maybe gives us a little bit of a building block going into playing Anaheim.”

The Canucks meet the Ducks on Monday night at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks outshot the Kings 40-26 and had a 20-7 margin in a dominant third period.

“I mean, what do we have to lose, right?” Richardson said of Vancouver’s third-period surge. “Just go have fun and play and what the hell.”

Richardson’s winner came after a sublime set-up from Kassian, who slid him a back-door pass. With Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick out of position, he had most of the net to shoot at.

“Kass has had some good vision lately,” Richardson said. “He found me in the second and I didn’t score for him and I know he would have screamed at me if i didn’t get that one.

“Kass made a hell of a play, I gave him little yell, but he made a great play to kind of suck everyone in and then hit me back-door, empty net so that was pretty easy for me.”

Quick smashed his stick after the Richardson goal and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

“It was nice to see Quickie smash his stick after that,” Richardson said. “I liked that.”

The goal was the 11th of the season for Richardson, who has formed an effective partnership of late with Kassian and David Booth.

“Richie has been there all year long,” said Vancouver coach John Tortorella. “He does those dirty jobs. You know how I feel about him.”

For the longest time Saturday night it looked like neither team was going to score. But after rookie defenceman Frank Corrado took his second straight interference penalty, the Kings finally cashed in on the power play late in the second period.

Jeff Carter dug the puck out of a scrum in the corner and fed a backhand pass to defenceman Slava Voynov, who was all alone in the slot. Voynov beat Eddie Lack with a wrist shot that went over the glove of the Vancouver goalie at the 19:32 mark.

The Canucks had some excellent chances earlier in the second. Nicklas Jensen had the puck all alone in front of the Kings net with Quick out of position, but put a shot high. Quick also foiled Richardson and Ryan Kesler earlier in the period.

Lack made the period’s best save of the night at the 50-second mark of the second period when he slid across his crease to rob Tyler Toffoli, who had taken a back-door pass from Carter.

The Canucks tied it on a power play of their own early in the third. With Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown off for roughing, defenceman Alex Edler moved in from the point and converted a back-door pass from Daniel Sedin for his seventh of the season at the 1:06 mark.

“Our power play felt great,” said Henrik, who returned after missing four games with a leg injury. “It felt like we moved the puck well, getting chances, getting guys in the right spots and it felt great. When you can score on it as well it gives your team a lot of momentum.”

ICE CHIPS: The Canucks recalled Corrado from the AHL’s Utica Comets and he played in place of the injured Yannick Weber... Jordan Schroeder and Zac Dalpe were healthy scratches for the Canucks... The Kings played without injured defenceman Drew Doughty, who is nursing a sore shoulder.

bziemer@vancouversun.com; twitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
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Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson and #7 David Booth celebrate Richardson's game winning goal over the LA Kingsl in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
 

Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson and #7 David Booth celebrate Richardson's game winning goal over the LA Kingsl in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG

 
Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson and #7 David Booth celebrate Richardson's game winning goal over the LA Kingsl in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #27 Shawn Matthias and LA Kings #14 Justin Williams chase the puck in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella gestures as he talks to #20 Chris Higgins during a break in play against the LA Kings in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #5 Jason Garrison and LA Kings #22 Trevor Lewis tangle in front of goalie Eddie Lack in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella gestures as he talks to #20 Chris Higgins flanked by #22 Daniel Sedin and #33 Henrik Sedin during a break in play against the LA Kings in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson and #7 David Booth celebrate Richardson's game winning goal over the LA Kingsl in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #33 Henrik Sedin looks for the puck while tied up by LA Kings #28 Jarret Stoll in front ofgoalie Jonathan Quick in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a glove save on a Vancouver Canucks shot in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #27 Shawn Matthias is covered up by  LA Kings #6 Jake Muzzin and #2 Matt Greene as goalie Jonathan Quick covers up the puck in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #14 Alexandre Burrows is dumped along the boards by LA Kings #71 Jordan Nolan in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a glove save on a Vancouver Canucks shot in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom in goal during the pre game skate prior to playing the LA Kings in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks #15 Brad Richardson on the ice during the pre game skate prior to playing the LA Kings in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack puts on his mask in the pre game skate prior to playing the LA Kings in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom in goal during the pre game skate prior to playing the LA Kings in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 05 2014.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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