Kings take 2-0 series lead over Canucks
Dustin Brown scores NHL playoff record-tying 2 short-handed goals
Dustin Brown tied an NHL record with two short-handed goals in one playoff game as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in the second game of their Western Conference quarter-final series Friday night.
Brown became the 13th player to score two short-handed goals in a post-season game. The last to pull off the feat was John Madden, then of the New Jersey Devils, against the New York Rangers on April 24, 2006.
"They're huge goals," Brown said. "Special teams is a big part of playoff hockey, and it's not often you are going to see two short-handed goals like that."
Underdog Los Angeles, which only secured a playoff berth with three games left in the regular season, took a 2-0 series lead on the Canucks, who finished first overall in the NHL for the second season in a row.
This marks the first time the Canucks have gone 0-2 when starting a playoff series at home.
Jarret Stoll, on a power play, and Trevor Lewis also scored for the Kings.
"You need big performances at this time of year," Brown said. "It's important for us to understand where we're at and hit the reset button."
Jannik Hansen and Sammy Pahlsson replied for the Canucks.
"Five-on-five we played well. The power play is not good enough right now. Not only are we not scoring but we're giving up goals," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said.
"That can't happen."
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick recorded 46 saves as the Canucks outshot Los Angeles 48-27.
"He's a younger guy, doesn't have much experience," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of his goaltender. "He's no different than our other young skaters. They're still learning lots about it, and they're doing a good job of it."
The Kings converted one of four power plays. The Canucks were blanked on five.
"It was strictly a game of special teams out there," Sutter said. "Five on five, we weren't very impressive."
L.A. led 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 after the second.
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault juggled his first and second lines in a bid to kick-start his club's offence.
The game got off to another raucous start as Vancouver's Alex Burrows jabbed at the puck while it was under Quick's glove 30 seconds in. After the whistle, Quick got up and threw the puck at Burrows.
Pile of players
Brown gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the first with a short-handed goal. Anze Kopitar intercepted a drop pass by Alex Edler in the Vancouver end and then cut in front of the net and tried to deke Luongo, but the goaltender kicked the puck out and got caught up in a pile of Vancouver players.
Brown promptly shot the puck into the vacant net. The goal came while former Canuck Willie Mitchell was off for holding.
"It's just execution. Execution and communication," Kesler said of the struggling Canucks power play. "We've got to forget about what just happened and worry about the next game."
The Kings' lead was short-lived. Hansen drew the Canucks even just 17 seconds into the second period as he deflected a bouncing Sedin wrist shot past Quick.
However, with Mitchell in the box again for holding, Brown scored on a short-handed breakaway exactly five minutes later. The breakaway resulted after Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis fell while trying to field a back pass from partner Kevin Bieksa at the L.A. blue-line.
"They're momentum killers," Bieksa said of the short-handed goals. "You go out on the power play looking to generate chances. A couple of unfortunate plays and it's in the back of our net."
The Canucks outshot the Kings 15-6 in the middle frame, but still trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes.
Luongo foiled Brown with just over a minute gone in the third period as he snared the L.A. captain's wrist shot with his catching glove. But Stoll made it 3-1 for the Kings shortly after as he jammed the puck in from in close during a Kings' power play.
Lewis increased L.A.'s lead to 4-1 on a wraparound at 14:51 of the third after Luongo did not see the puck sitting beside his pad during a scramble.
Pahlsson reduced Vancouver's deficit to 4-2 a minute and a half later as he put home a backhand from the slot, but the Canucks could not get any closer, even with a late power play and Luongo pulled for an extra attacker.
The series resumes Sunday in Los Angeles (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10:30 p.m. ET).