Brown’s goal in OT gives Kings 2-1 win over Canucks
Desjardins returned to Rogers Arena as a head coach for the first time since the Canucks fired him at the end of the 2016-17 season. He received a mix of cheers and jeers from the crowd when his face was shown on the big video screen before the game.
“Whenever you come back in here, there’s lots of good guys in that room over there and I know that,” said Desjardins, who took over in Los Angeles when John Stevens was dismissed this month. “And I know they hate to lose as well, but I certainly enjoyed a win.”
Brown assisted on Iafallo’s goal, and Anze Kopitar had two assists for the Kings.
Markus Granlund tied the game for the Canucks with 3:43 to go in the third period. Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots.
“Obviously, they have a heavy team,” Granlund said. “I think we needed more speed and more legs to get more goals.”
Desjardins thought Petersen helped set the tone early by making a couple of “outstanding” saves.
“For a young guy to come in and do that is pretty impressive,” the coach said.
Vancouver spent a lot of time in the Kings end in the third period, outshooting them 13-6. But there weren’t a ton of great chances, Petersen said.
“The whole time it was our game to win and I think it was just a matter of time, really,” said Petersen, who earned his fourth win of the season. “Obviously when they get one that late in the game it could be deflating, but I think we have been through too much as a team to let stuff like that continue to bother us. It showed in the overtime. We controlled the play and luckily we were rewarded.”
The 24-year-old’s calm demeanor in net has helped the Kings this year, Brown said.
“Even from a young guy it has an effect on the team when you have a guy who doesn’t get flustered or when a goal goes in he just resets and goes,” Brown explained. “Cal has a lot of that calmness in net that I think kind of helps our team not panic.”
Iafallo was first to find the back of the net 10:45 into the second. The left wing collected a pass from Brown high in the faceoff circle and fired a slap shot past Markstrom for his fifth goal of the season.
Granlund tied it when he deflected the puck past Petersen for his fifth of the season.
Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings as Petersen’s backup. The 32-year-old goalie has struggled with a lower-body injury this season and missed the previous 12 games.
Meanwhile, the Canucks got an offensive force back in Brock Boeser. The 21-year-old right wing had been out since early November, missing 11 games with a lower-body injury.
Boeser rang a backhand off the post in the second period, but couldn’t add to the 11 points he’s amassed this season.
“It was a tough first two periods and we all knew that after the second, we weren’t making good passes and we weren’t helping the D out in the D-zone,” Boeser said. “Our compete wasn’t there and they were outworking us, outbattling us.”
Despite the loss, Markstrom thinks the Canucks are playing well in their own zone and creating offense in their opponents’ end.
“We’re playing tighter in front of our net and we’re letting their shots come from the outside, so we’re doing a good job,” the goalie said. “We’re creating a lot of scoring chances as well, even though we haven’t scored as many goals as we could have. … So goals are going to come.”
NOTES: Vancouver was missing defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who tweaked his neck in practice Monday and is day to day. … One hockey fan might have been the biggest winner of the night. The Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot hit a record-breaking $1,413,630, giving the winner a prize of more than $700,000.
Kings: At the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Canucks: Continue a five-game homestand Thursday against Vegas.