When Jonathan Quick is on his game, there's not a whole lot you can do. When the Canucks can't get shots on goal while trailing against Jonathan Quick, well...you get the idea. On Thursday night, the Canucks were shut out in a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena. Los Angeles improved to 3-0-0 on the year against Vancouver.
The Canucks (38-25-4) had plenty of scoring opportunities, but Quick was perfect on the night, stopping all 19 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the year and the 36th of his career. Defensively, the Kings have dominated Vancouver, holding them to an average of 18 shots per game in their three contests this year.
While the Kings didn't register an absurd amount of shots either (they had just 19 as well against Lack on the night), they were able to beat Lack three times, including once on the power play.
The loss marked the first time the Canucks were shut out since falling 4-0 to the Anaheim Ducks back on January 27.
Already trailing 2-0 heading into the third period, the Kings (33-21-13) took all the air out of Vancouver before most fans even had a chance to get back to their seats from the intermission.
25 seconds into the third period, Anze Kopitar came away with a turnover in Vancouver's zone, capitalizing with a goal to put the Kings up 3-0. Hamhuis tried to pass the puck up the middle from along the boards, but Kopitar was right there to take away the pass and make the Canucks pay for it.
While the Canucks have had their fair share of comeback wins, this seemed to suck the life out of the team as they did not register a shot in the third period until Daniel Sedin had a great scoring chance on net at the 10:25 mark. Can't make a comeback if you don't get the puck on net.
What the Canucks see when they play the Kings: pic.twitter.com/iro6N8Jp51— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) March 13, 2015
After not registering a shot during their first power play, the Kings struck first while on their second power play late in the first period. Los Angeles moved the puck around Vancouver's zone nicely, eventually finding Tyler Toffoli in the left face-off circle after some quick passing. Obviously, the Canucks are no strangers to playing from behind, but you still never like to see yourself behind on the scoreboard early.
Vancouver, meanwhile, struggled on their power play. The Canucks failed to register a shot on goal during either of their two power plays on the night.
The Kings added to their lead early in the second period when Justin Williams tapped in a goal to put Los Angeles up 2-0 at 3:59. The scoring play started when McNabb had all the room in the world, skating in towards the net from the right face-off circle. The Canucks were so convinced McNabb would take the shot, that Williams was able to sneak around behind the net, putting himself in position for the easy goal.
looked like Lack was surprised Williams made it all the way around the net & was so wide open. He was playing shot the whole way. #Canucks— omarcanuck (@omarcanuck) March 13, 2015
Rough change by Vey on that goal, in the middle of a 3-on-2 rush. Not a good Vey game. Mcnabb still had too much room pic.twitter.com/YegDAFfz7c— Jason Botchford (@botchford) March 13, 2015
Marian Gaborik added an empty-net goal at 15:36 to complete the win.
Midway through the second period, Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves with Kyle Clifford, sending a jolt of energy into the fans. The fight was monumental in a way for Dorsett as he eclipsed 1,000 career penalty minutes. Unfortunately, the Canucks didn't respond with much fire.
The two sides got off to a slow start offensively. After three combined shots in the game's opening minute, neither team registered a shot on goal for nearly eight minutes. That included a power play for the Kings when Luca Sbisa was sent off for roughing against Jordan Nolan at 5:40.
Los Angeles found a way to get something going offensively, while the Canucks stayed flat all night long. As far as shutouts go, this had to be an easier one for Jonathan Quick.
9 #Canucks shots in first period. Just 10 since then. When trailing.— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) March 13, 2015
The corsi chart shows a similar story, with the Canucks flatlining late in the second period and early in the third period as the Kings put the nail on the coffin.
Should the Canucks manage to hold onto their playoff spot in a race that'll likely come down to game 82, they could very well face these same Kings in the first round of the playoffs. Based on not only tonight, but how the Canucks have played against Los Angeles over the past couple of years, that would probably end in another first-round exit.
The Canucks will try and put the ugly loss behind them and turn their focus to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who come to Rogers Arena on Saturday...afternoon? Evening? Prevening? Not really sure what to call a 4:00 p.m. start time. Normally, I'd say it's a perfect opportunity for the Canucks to beat up on a lesser opponent, but we've obviously seen how Vancouver sometimes has a tendency to play down to their opponents levels, such as that 6-3 loss to the Sabres a couple weeks ago.
In the words of T-Swift, just shake it off. Every game is crucial at this point. Forget about the last one, seize the next one.