LOS ANGELES -- There was one thing the Los Angeles Kings knew they couldn’t do coming into their game with the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night -- give them the man advantage.
Vancouver came into the game with the second- best power play in the NHL at 26.4 percent and on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks scored five times on the man advantage during a 6-2 win.
So what did the Kings do within the first six minutes of the game? You guessed it.
The Kings had a catastrophic opening to the game with Trevor Lewis getting a five-minute major penalty and Drew Doughty picking up a cross-checking penalty within the first six minutes. Vancouver is deadly enough with a one-man advantage; give them a two-man advantage and your fate is all but sealed.
Vancouver scored two goals on the 5-on-3 advantage with Sami Salo taking a pass from Daniel Sadin and slipping the puck past Jonathan Quick with 6:51 gone by in the first period. About a minute later the Canucks took a 2-0 lead when Andrew Ebbert attempted a centering pass that deflected off Willie Mitchell’s skate and went into the net.
Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome pushed the lead to 3-0 with 4:18 remaining in the period when his slap shot in front of a crowded next beat the outstretched glove of Quick. The Kings were outshot 12-3 in a forgettable first period that essentially put the game out of reach before it ever really began.
Los Angeles finally got on the board with a power play goal with 9:30 remaining in the second period when Doughty’s one-time shot pulled the Kings to within 3-1. The Canucks almost responded at the end of the period but had a goal disallowed in the final minute because Jannik Hansen interfered with Quick.
With an empty net and one minute left in the game the Kings finally cut the Canucks’ lead to 3-2 when Mike Richards’ shot deflected into the net but that would be as close as the Kings would get as Vancouver held on for the win.