LOS ANGELES — Drew Doughty scored a goal and added three assists, Jack Johnson tallied three assists and Michal Handzus scored two goals and contributed an assist to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in front of a standing room only crowd of 18.264 jubilant fans
at Staples Center on April 19.
The win gave the Kings a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinals series with Game 4 scheduled for April 21 at Staples Center (7:00 PM PDT).
The Canucks took an early lead when Mason Raymond scored his first goal of the playoffs at 2:06 of the first period, capitalizing on a blown coverage by Kings defenseman Peter Harrold and on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick allowing a pass to go across the top of his goal crease.
But outside of that goal, the Canucks appeared to be more interested in punishing the Kings physically, at the expense of playing the game. Indeed, they put several big hits on the Kings, including forwards Richard Clune and Ryan Smyth.
At the 10:29 mark, Canucks defenseman Christian Erhoff took a slashing penalty, and the Kings took quick advantage just 31 seconds later when Doughty scored his first goal of the playoffs on the power play to tie the game.
At 4:06 of the second period, Handzus scored his first goal of the playoffs with the Kings on the power play again, making the Canucks pay for taking another penalty, this time, Canucks star forward Henrik Sedin had been caught for holding at 3:24.
On the play, Canucks superstar goaltender Roberto Luongo gave up a bad rebound off a point shot, giving Handzus a wide open net from the lower left circle.
Handzus was in front of the Vancouver net with his team on yet another power play and he picked up a rebound of a point shot and hand a slam dunk chance at right crease for his second goal of the game at 12:18.
Just 1:03 later, Kings forward Brad Richardson was in on the forecheck and stripped Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in the right circle. He quickly spun and threw the puck on net, beating a surprised Roberto Luongo between his pads—a soft goal.
The goal was Richardson’s first of the playoffs that was not only the game-winner, but it also chased Luongo, who was immediately replaced by backup goalie Andrew Raycroft.
Buoyed by a 4-1 lead, the Kings relaxed a bit—they let up, and opened the door for the Canucks, who got goals from Mikael Samuelsson at 14:53 of the second period and Daniel Sedin at 4:18 of the third period, to bring the Canucks within one.
But the game could have easily been tied at that point, as the Canucks were on the wrong end of a controversial call in which Daniel Sedin was going hard to the net and had the puck deflect into the net off his right skate.
After an unusually lengthy video review, it was ruled that he propelled the puck into the net with a kicking motion, resulting in the goal being disallowed.
At the 9:21 mark, Kings left wing Ryan Smyth slapped one off of Erhoff’s skate near left point. The puck fluttered past a thrown-off Andrew Raycroft, beating him just inside the right goal post to give the Kings their final margin of victory.
- The Kings were 3-for-3 on the power play in the game and are now (7-for-12 in the series.
- The Kings playoff record for most power play goals in one game is four (two times; last time was May 27, 1993 vs. Toronto).
- Doughty’s four points tied a Kings playoff record for a defenseman (Paul Coffey had four points April 20, 1992 vs. Edmonton).
- Doughty and Johnson both recorded three assists, tying a Kings playoff record for most assists by a defenseman in a game (two times; last time was Mathieu Schneider on April 18, 2001 vs. Detroit).
- The last time the Kings led a series 2-1 was 1993 Campbell Conference Finals vs. Toronto (Kings won in seven games).
- When leading 2-1 ,the Kings have won the series four out of six times.
- The Kings out-hit Vancouver 48-39
Raw audio Interviews (unedited)
Drew Doughty (2:14)
Jack Johnson (5:06)
Terry Murray (4:33)
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault (2:01)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
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