Any game where you pull the starting goalie only to replace him four SOG later isn't a great night. For Los Angeles anyway.
Vancouver seemed in control from the get go. LA showed life during spurts in the first but they lost sight in the second period when - with the game very much still in play - Daniel Sedin scored on his own rebound to put the Canucks up by two. Mikael Samuelsson notched his sixth of the post season a few minutes later to chase Quick and force the wheels of the Kings ride.
Vancouver didn't let up in the third either. Pavol Demitra and Samuelsson eventually chased Ersberg and forced Quick back in net. Modin made the score more respectable between both those scores, but then Bernier added his second of the night with over ten minutes left.
Tough not to think of the 8-2 blowout the Kings laid down on Vancouver in the regular season tonight, but there are several positives to take away (obviously). In no certain order:
- Sedins had a collective four points. If a game seven is necessary, AV will unleash them liberally again. Though we should point out Dank's mental vacation lead to the Kings first (and only!) PP tally.
- FU Sweden is your post season goal leader. He's playing on another level.
- Andrew Alberts, much maligned for good reason, finished with an assist and a +2. And no PIMs.
- Steve Bernier and Pavol Demitra continue making us fall in love with them again. Along with Wellwood, they are helping offset the Mason Raymond/Michael Grabner/Alex Burrows disappearing acts.
- In defense of Burrows, he was big on the PK tonight. Looked like the defensive Burrows of old.
- Alex Edler's first period tally was a thing of beauty. Hansen setting it up was just gravy.
- Luongo was decent when he needed to be, finishing up with 24 saves.
- SOB with the guns up? It's a new dance move at the Roxy before I hit "publish" on this.
- The PK came up huge during a 5-on-3 during the second. You could argue the wind was out of the LA's sails by that point, but it's massive for Vancouver's confidence to stop the shorthanded bleeding.
As for the Kings - besides the fact Richard Clune is lucky he's alive - this stings. As close as they were to a 3-1 series lead, now they're behind and back in their barn on Sunday motivated as all hell to forget every second of this affair and get a huge win in front of their fans.
Celebrate tonight sure, but the big job comes on Sunday. A lot of work still remains to take this series.