Kings Struggle in shootout for Second Night, Lose, 2-1, to Vancouver – LA Times

By Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times

Kings Struggle in shootout for Second Night, Lose, 2-1, to Vancouver

LOS ANGELES–They lose by the same score in shootout as they did night before to Sharks. Samuelsson beats Quick on a backhand in the third round to give the Canucks the victory.

Holding a good opponent to one goal but losing a shootout became a little repetitive for the Kings, who came out on the short end of a 2-1 loss in the NHL’s entertaining but absurd tiebreaking procedure for the second straight night.

Mikael Samuelsson, who scored the only goal for Vancouver in the first 65 minutes, beat Jonathan Quick on a backhand in the third round of the shootout to give the Canucks a 2-1 victory Thursday at Staples Center.

Ryan Kesler had scored in the first round of the shootout, matched by Jack Johnson in the second round. However, Ryan Smyth was stopped by Andrew Raycroft to start the third round and the Canucks skated off victorious after Samuelsson scored.

“It was disappointing. We can’t get a win in regulation, especially against this team because it’s depleted by injuries,” Kings defenseman Matt Greene said. “If you take positives, yeah, it’s good we got the point.”

The Kings lost a shootout to the Sharks on Wednesday at San Jose, also a 2-1 final score.

The point awarded for the shootout moved the Kings (8-4-2) back ahead of the Sharks atop the Pacific Division, 18-17, but the Sharks now have a game in hand.

The Kings do have points in six straight games, on four victories and the two shootout defeats.

In something of a reversal of the way they started the season, their defense has been tighter and their offense has been frustrated the last two games.

They had a solid defensive effort Thursday, blocking 12 shots in the second period and 17 overall. They allowed only 15 shots to get through to Quick.

Scott Parse scored his first NHL goal for the Kings, who don’t play again until Monday at Phoenix.

It wasn’t scintillating, but it was a good defensive performance for the Kings, who had improved their defensive play last season but seemed to lose their way a bit in their first dozen games this season. In their last four games, Quick has given up only seven goals, not including the goals charged to the team in the two shootout losses.

True, the Kings’ offense didn’t do a whole lot Thursday against the Canucks, who lost standout goaltender Roberto Luongo to a broken rib this week and were already without last season’s team co-scoring leader, Daniel Sedin, who has a broken leg.

Anze Kopitar was blanked for the second straight game and lost the NHL scoring lead to Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, who had three points to pass Kopitar, 22-21. And the seven-game point-scoring streak Dustin Brown took into the game ended, as did Drew Doughty’s four-game assist streak.

But there will be games this season in which Kopitar and Ryan Smyth are held in check and the Kings will have to make one goal or two stand up, and they did not do that Thursday.

Parse, recalled from Manchester of the American Hockey League last Friday, scored his first NHL goal to give the Kings a 1-0 lead at 11:27 of the first period.

Parse, who had shot the puck into the zone, finished off an impressive sequence by taking a fine pass off the right-wing boards from Teddy Purcell and firing a high shot from the inner edge of the right circle past Raycroft.

“Obviously, I would have liked to win the game, especially at home,” Parse said. “But it’s still fun and this was special.”

A mistake by the Kings in their own end set up the tying goal. Scuderi made a simple pass to Doughty, who was at the right-wing boards and in position to move it out of the zone, but Henrik Sedin rode Doughty off the puck and took control.

Sedin sent the puck behind the net to Alexandre Burrows, who threw it out in front. Samuelsson, the former Red Wing who left Detroit as a free agent last summer, rifled a shot past Quick from the hash marks at 18:36.

The period was marked by a lot of jawing and pushing after the whistle, though none of the hostilities escalated.

The Kings had two power plays, getting one shot on the first advantage and four on the second advantage, but they couldn’t convert either time.

Coach Terry Murray changed up his defense pairs, breaking up the Drew Doughty- Sean O’Donnell tandem to put O’Donnell with Jack Johnson, and put Rob Scuderi with Doughty. He left Davis Drewiske with Greene.

The Kings can be satisfied with their defensive effort, but it’s time to ramp up their offense if they want to stay in the top reaches of their rejuvenated division.