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Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Kings: Vancouver scores twice in second period to take 2-1 lead

By Dan Arritt

Western Conference Quarterfinals

Game 4 (Kings lead the series, 3-0)

After the 2nd period:

VancouverCanucks 2, Kings 1

The good: Although they lost the lead in the second period, the Kings are still playing a solid all-around game. They out-shot the Canucks, 18-9, in the period and have a 31-16 advantage overall. Jarret Stoll is 8-0 in the faceoff circle to help the Kings to a 21-18 advantage on the drop. The Kings are also the more physical team, owning a 37-21 advantage on hits. Jeff Carter, Matt Greene and Stoll have four apiece.

The bad: The first extended rough stretch of the series hit the Kings and goalie Jonathan Quick during the middle period. The Canucks scored two goals 4 ˝ minutes apart to take their first lead since the opening period of Game 1. The Canucks finally cashed in on their power play to get their first goal. Colin Fraser went to the penalty box for tripping Keith Ballard in L.A.’s offensive zone and, 34 seconds later, Alexander Edler sent a low wrist-shot from the point that beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick with 15:53 remaining in the period. Ryan Kesler may have blinded Quick with a screen. Daniel Sedin, in his first game back after missing the last 12 with a concussion, was originally credited with an assist on the goal, but it was later awarded to Kesler. They made it 2-1 on a goal by another defensemen from about the same spot as Edler’s. The play was set in motion when Mike Richards turned the puck over in the neutral zone. The puck made its way to Kevin Bieksa, who let go of a shot from just inside the blue line. The puck appeared to deflect off Richards and change directions, beating Quick as Sedin distracted him on the doorstep.

The in between: Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell had a team-high three blocked shots, but also leads the team with three giveaways. Carter has five shots on goal but is still looking for his first goal of the series. The Kings managed eight shots on goal on their two power plays late in the second period, but still haven’t got one past Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider.