Canucks need Bruins-like effort to bounce back | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaCanucks need Bruins-like effort to bounce back

Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012 | 02:20 AM

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Jonathan Quick, left, and Alex Burrows get acquainted during Game 2 of their Western Conference quarter-final on Friday night. (Rich Lam/Getty Images) Jonathan Quick, left, and Alex Burrows get acquainted during Game 2 of their Western Conference quarter-final on Friday night. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

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The Vancouver Canucks find themselves in the same predicament as the Stanley Cup-champion Boston Bruins did when they began their successful run. Like the Bruins last year, the Canucks lost two games at home to open up the 2012 playoffs. 

If they haven't already given up on their struggling team, the Vancouver Canucks faithful can take solace in the fact the Boston Bruins began their championship run with two losses at home last spring, too.

That's the predicament the Canucks find themselves in after another nightmarish outcome on Friday the 13th, another 4-2 win for the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena to give the upset-minded club a 2-0 series lead.

The Bruins checked in for only one score in their opening two losses to the Montreal Canadiens a year ago, but were able to rally to win the series in seven games. In order for the Canucks to follow suit, they need to not only ignite a slumping offence, but they somehow need to get a horrible power play back on track.

The Canucks power play has a plus-minus rating of minus-two through two games. It went 0-for-5 in Game 2 for a 0-for-10 series total, and surrendered a pair of shorthanded goals to Kings captain Dustin Brown in the process on Friday.

The Canucks only yielded four shorthanded goals in 82 regular season games. But right now their play in man-advantage situations has been in disarray.

"Obviously, it's disappointing," Canucks centre Ryan Kesler said. "We knew it was going to be a challenge. That's a good hockey team over there. We're not going to feel sorry for ourselves.

"If we play that way five-on-five, and we clean up our special teams, I like our chances."

The Canucks chances also would improve immensely if they had a healthy Daniel Sedin. He not only is the leading goal scorer on the back-to-back Presidents Trophy-winning team, but he also led Vancouver with 10 power-play goals despite missing the final nine regular season games with a concussion.

After being kept off the ice for two days, Sedin skated by himself on Friday morning. At this point he would need a remarkable recovery to find his way back into the Canucks lineup for Game 3 in Los Angeles on Sunday.

In the meantime, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter and his staff have prepared their players well on the penalty kill.

Brown comes up big

Anze Kopitar picked off an Alex Edler drop pass to set up one of Brown's short-handed goals, and the Kings winger then took advantage of an errant pass from Kesler back to defenceman Dan Hamhuis for the other.

The way Brown buried both of his short-handed goals must have made Kings general manager Dean Lombardi feel pretty good because he considered moving his captain after he landed Jeff Carter in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Even though the Canucks outshot the Kings 48-26, Los Angeles was the better team in both games. After the Canucks charged out of the gate, the Kings slowly took over the game and kept Vancouver on its heels with a strong forecheck. The Canucks did come on in the final 20 minutes with some desperate hockey, but star Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick kept his teammates in front.

The hard part for the Canucks is that they have wasted two solid outings from goalie Roberto Luongo. He was supposed to be the weak link entering the playoffs, but he has kept his team in games longer than the play has dictated.

Now it's up to his teammates to pull through and deal with the adversarial situation. In their run to the Stanley Cup final last spring, the Canucks never trailed in a series until the Bruins beat them in the seventh and deciding game. So this is new territory.

But can this Canucks team storm back like the Bruins last year? Or will this Canucks team continue trending downward in the playoffs?

They have, after all, now lost six of their last seven playoff games going back to the final a year ago. The Kings don't need a clever and funny tweet from their official Twitter account to point this out.

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