Losses suck. That’s pretty black and white. But this one stung a little worse for the Canucks tonight. After being denied seven straight times on the power play and finally scoring a go-ahead goal on the eighth, the Vancouver Canucks fell 3-2 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings, capping off a dismal homestand on a sour note. It was a wild game full of penalties, fights, and even a missing tooth.
David Booth hit the ice with the second line, and within seconds found himself with a great scoring chance in front of the net, but tried to pull back and take the backhand shot in traffic. Had Booth scored on his first shift back, he would’ve actually broke Twitter.
The teams would go 4-on-4 after Alex Burrows and Daniel Carcillo were both sent off for a little tussle that began after Jason Garrison took a late hit, but no goals would come of it.
A sloppy play from Kevin Bieksa led to a turnover on the Canucks’ end, recovered by Jeff Carter, who had Mike Richards in the area for the scoring chance. Richards couldn’t bring in the pass though and the Canucks got a free pass on what could’ve easily been the opening goal for the Kings.
However, for the second straight game, the Canucks would in fact give up the game’s opening goal. After Brad Richardson was tripped up in front of the Kings’ net, Los Angeles was given a two-on-one rush with Linden Vey and Kyle Clifford against Jason Garrison. Vey slipped a pass by Garrison as Clifford cashed in to give the Kings an early 1-0 lead. You knew with all the odd man rushes the Kings were getting, it was only a matter of time before they would convert on one of them.
With four minutes remaining, the Canucks would get the tripping call they looked for with Richardson as Dan Hamhuis went down. But you know the narrative that’s coming next. Canucks on the power play equals two minutes of nothing good at all. Lots of passing, not a whole lot of scoring.
Chris Higgins had some good scoring chances in the final moments of the first period, including one off the post, but the Kings would hold onto their 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The Canucks opened the second period with another power play, this one coming when Daniel Sedin had his tooth knocked out by Jake Muzzin. There was no blood though, so a lost tooth gets you just two minutes. Little did we know this would only be the start of a wild period where there would be no shortage of power plays and scrums.
Henrik Sedin would get sent off for interference against Muzzin on what we can only assume was a revenge mission for his now toothless brother. After a pair of penalties to the Kings, Vancouver would get another 5-on-3 opportunity, but the chance would be short lived as Garrison was called for interference. Penalties left and right, but still no scoring.
Halfway through the period, Henrik Sedin took a hard hit and would be slow to get up as he skated off to the bench. The hit played a major role in the period, as the Canucks were then out for blood after the hit, cranking up the intensity and fire they seemed to lack for the first 30 minutes to that point.
With five and a half minutes to play, things really got interesting. Everyone found their fighting partner as it seemed like we were about to be treated to a line brawl, but it would be Jordan Nolan and Ryan Stanton who would throw the punches. The teams would combine for 70 minutes of penalties in the middle period as the penalty boxes became a little cramped.
Late in the second, the most unthinkable of heroes would step up; Chris Tanev. When you need a game-tying goal, who do you look to on this team? Daniel, Kes, heck…Burrows if he can snap out of his curse? No way, you call on Chris Tanev. Because seeing him score is like learning Hogwarts is a real place. It's so magical and beyond your imagination you cannot believe it. Tanev fired a shot from the point that somehow found its way to the back of the net to tie the game. Pure magic.
The Canucks began the third period with what else, a power play. For the seventh time of the night, Vancouver would come up empty on the advantage as their power play percentage took a freefall.
Have no fear though; the captain would step in and save the night. Henrik Sedin would position himself in front of the net, tapping in the power play goal to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead. Henrik had slipped an initial pass over to Daniel, but after the puck deflected back out, Daniel found his brother for the go-ahead goal, Henrik’s fourth in the last five games. His playoff-caliber celebration after summed it all up. It took them until their eighth power play, but when you’re given that many chances in one game, something’s got to give.
Give me a moment; I can’t believe I just typed power play goal and a 2-1 lead for the Canucks in the same sentence. I need a breather here.
Ryan Kesler nearly gave the Canucks a two-goal lead as David Booth carried the puck into the Kings zone, getting a shot on net to create the rebound opportunity, but Kesler couldn’t get the puck through, as it remained 2-1.
Turns out they would need that one more than they thought as moments later, the Kings tied things up with 2:54 with a goal from Mike Richards. The scoring chance was created when Alex Edler missed a check, proving to be costly. Edler and Garrison would both end up in the same corner, allowing Carter to find Richards in front of the net for the goal.
The overtime period would be short lived as Kevin Bieksa fanned on clearing a puck out from behind the net. Anze Kopitar would cash in with the game-winning goal, ending what is certainly one of the more frustrating losses of the year for the Canucks.
Vancouver finishes the homestand with a 1-2-3 record and now packs their bags for six of their next seven games on the road.
After the game, Luongo was quoted saying, "We just want to win a game." That has to be one of the saddest moments I’ve ever seen in a post-game p, and unfortunately sums things up perfectly right now about this team.