Friday, April 13, 2012
Kings: Dustin Brown comes up short in 4-2 victory vs. Canucks
By Dan Arritt
Dustin Brown, center, celebrates one of his two goals with Jeff Carter, left, and Mike Richards.
Western Conference Quarterfinals
Kings 4, Vancouver Canucks 2
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: Special teams usually play a key role in any playoff series, and Friday night the Kings were extra special, getting two short-handed goals from Dustin Brown and another from Jarret Stoll on the power play at Rogers Arena in Vancouver to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
THE STAT: The last time the Kings scored a short-handed goal in the playoffs was in June 1993. The last time they scored two in a playoff game was a month earlier. Brown also became the first NHL player to score two short-handers in the postseason since John Madden of the New Jersey Devils in a playoff game against the New York Rangers in 2006.
TURNING POINT: With the score tied 1-1 five minutes into the second period, Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell went to the penalty box for holding. About 10 seconds later, Vancouver tried to pass the puck back to defenseman Dan Hamhuis, but it was out of his reach. Brown pounced on the puck and set off on a breakaway. He faked a forehand shot on Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo and then beat him with a backhand at the 5:17 mark of the second period for a 2-1 lead.
HOT: Counting his empty-net goal to seal the Game 1 victory, Brown scored three straight goals for the Kings. The Kings also continued to be dominant on the penalty kill, snuffing out all five man-advantage opportunities for the Canucks, dropping them to 0-for-10 for the series. Mitchell, a key member of the penalty-kill unit, finished with a team-high six blocked shots and Colin Fraser had a team-leading six hits.
NOT: Vancouver Canucks forward Henrik Sedin continues to look lost without his twin brother, Daniel, who missed his 11th consecutive game because of a concussion. He had a game-high five giveaways.
GOOD MOVE: The Kings gave away a 2-1 lead in the final seconds of the second period in Game 1, and were in a similar situation in Game 2. They were gassed and the Canucks were coming with heavy pressure in the offensive zone. That’s when Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stepped up with his best save of the game, shooting out his left pad to stop Ryan Kesler’s shot from the doorstep and the Kings were able to get into the second intermission with their one-goal lead still intact. Quick finished with 46 saves.
BAD MOVE: After the Kings took a 4-1 lead on a wraparound goal by Trevor Lewis with 5:09 remaining, they took their foot off the gas pedal and went into a prevent-style shell. That didn’t work too well as the Canucks cut the deficit back to two goals with 3:31 remaining. Vancouver pulled Luongo with little less than two minutes left and the Kings were then left short-handed after Rob Scuderi went to the penalty box for cross-checking.
NOTABLE: Since 1987, the team that has won Game 2 has won the series 70 percent of the time. … The Kings won their fourth straight playoff game on the road dating to last season, a franchise record. ... This is the second time in franchise history the Kings have taken a 2-0 series lead. The other time was in 1968.
UP NEXT: Game 3, Sunday at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.