Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (No. 27) hugs Anze Kopitar after Kopitar's game-winning goal in OT topped the Canucks and helped L.A. maintain its grip on first place.
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Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar finally ran out of patience with the Los Angeles Kings’ struggles to get a puck past Vancouver’s backup goalie.
Kopitar scored on a pass from Jeff Carter 2:02 into overtime, and the Kings rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Canucks on Tuesday night.
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Doughty scored the tying power-play goal early in the third period for the first-place Kings, who won for the sixth time in nine games. They only did it outshooting the Canucks 18-1 in the third period and overtime, finally overcoming a standout performance by Jacob Markstrom, who stopped 39 shots for Vancouver.
"It’s easy to get caught up in that and just say, `Well, it’s going to come, it’s going to come,’" Kopitar said. "Then the next thing you know, there’s a couple of minutes left and you’re really scrambling for it."
After Doughty stopped Markstrom’s shutout bid with a long, rising shot through traffic with 13:06 left in regulation, Kopitar put a beautiful finish on his eighth goal of the season as Los Angeles won its fourth straight home game.
Jonathan Quick made 15 saves for the Kings. All told, Los Angeles was responsible for 20 of the game’s final 21 shots.
"(Markstrom) played well," Doughty said. "He’s a big guy in there, and it’s obviously going to be tough to get pucks across a big guy like that."
Daniel Sedin scored a power-play goal in the first period for Vancouver, which has lost eight of 10. The Canucks responded fairly well to the embarrassment of a lifeless performance in a 4-0 loss at Anaheim on Monday night, but the Kings took charge late.
Vancouver wrapped up a four-game road trip with one victory and four points.
"It’s been a tough trip, but we played some pretty good hockey," coach Willie Desjardins said. "It’s a back-to-back, and our guys played pretty hard. You have to give them credit for bouncing back from the Anaheim game."
But the Canucks lost in extra time for the NHL-worst eighth time this season despite Markstrom’s efforts in his fourth start of the year in place of Ryan Miller. The Swedish backup managed just one win in his first four appearances for Vancouver this season, giving up 10 goals in three starts.
"I like that I didn’t let in more than two goals, but I would have liked it more if I won," Markstrom said. "We can’t wait too much longer. We’ve got to start winning games. Other teams are winning games in the division and the conference."
Seven weeks ago, the Canucks sent Los Angeles to an 0-3-0 start to the season with a 3-0 victory at Staples Center, holding the Kings to 15 shots. But the Kings have responded splendidly, winning 15 of 21 and moving atop the Pacific Division.
The Sedin twins both lost lengthy scoring streaks in Anaheim, but got started on new ones in the first period at Staples Center. Henrik fed Daniel for his 12th goal on a one-timer through a screen, putting the Canucks ahead on just their second shot of the night.
After a dull second period, Doughty finally evened it with his third goal of the season. Los Angeles dominated play in the third, outshooting Vancouver 15-1 and getting a late power play, but couldn’t end it.
Notes:Russian defenseman Andrey Pedan made his NHL debut for Vancouver, playing just 3:54 in six shifts. … The Canucks scratched D Christopher Tanev, who blocked a shot with his hand on Monday night, and RW Jake Virtanen, who has a hip pointer after taking a hard hit in Anaheim. LW Chris Higgins also sat out for undisclosed reasons after playing Monday. … Los Angeles had lost three straight to Vancouver.