LA Kings snap Vancouver’s 7-game win streak under Boudreau
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adrian Kempe and Viktor Arvidsson scored in the shootout, Jonathan Quick made 17 saves and the Los Angeles Kings snapped the Vancouver Canucks’ seven-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Boudreau with a 2-1 victory Thursday night.
Brendan Lemieux scored his sixth goal of the season in the second period for the Kings, who earned a point for the sixth time in eight games. Los Angeles dominated long stretches of play, particularly in the second period, but still had to go to extra time to snap a five-game skid in its Pacific Division rivalry with Vancouver.
“We’d like to put a team away when we have multiple opportunities in the second period,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We have breakaways and penalty shots. We let them back in, but stuck with it and did it the hard way. And maybe that’s good for our team right now.”
Bo Horvat scored Vancouver’s tying goal with 7:54 left in regulation, and J.T. Miller extended his scoring streak to eight games with an assist for the Canucks.
Kempe scored in the first round of the shootout, and Horvat tied it in the third. Arvidsson scored the first shootout goal of his NHL career for LA in the fifth round, and Quick stopped former Kings teammate Tanner Pearson to end it.
“We’ve been able to be some streak-busters,” McLellan said. “Some teams that have been on some pretty good winning streaks come in, and we’ve been able to snuff them out.”
Jaroslav Halák stopped 34 shots while carrying the Canucks for long stretches of his first start since Dec. 14 and his second since Nov. 28. The well-traveled 36-year-old veteran has made just eight appearances behind starter Thatcher Demko.
“He was unbelievable tonight,” Horvat said of Halák. “That game could have been a lot worse than it was, especially in the second period. He stood on his head. It wasn’t a very good game for us by any means. We’ve got to be better in front of him.”
Boudreau’s winning streak began with a 4-0 victory over the Kings in his debut in Vancouver on Dec. 6. The likable veteran bench boss then tied the NHL record for the longest winning streak to start a coaching tenure when the Canucks beat his former Anaheim Ducks team in overtime last Tuesday night.
“Hopefully it was a cheap lesson that we learned tonight that you can’t go out there and just because you’ve done well, that people are going to throw their sticks and bow down,” Boudreau said.
Quick gave the latest excellent performance in his impressive bounce-back season, but lost his shutout bid during a power play caused by Arvidsson shooting the puck over the glass. Miller made an exceptional play to corral the puck and fling it toward the net to Horvat, who tapped it home for his 11th goal.
Quick stopped Horvat on a breakaway in overtime after a turnover by Kings captain Anze Kopitar.
“We didn’t play very good, and they were hungry,” Boudreau said. “They had lost last game, and we, especially our second period, it’s as bad as I’ve seen us play. They hung in there, and our goalie was outstanding, and that’s why we got a point.”
After a scoreless first period, Blake Lizotte’s forechecking forced a turnover that led to Lemieux’s deflection of Christian Wolanin’s long shot. Lemieux’s six goals in 21 games for LA are more than he scored in 49 games last season between the Rangers and Kings.
“We talk about winning games 2-1, 3-2, low-scoring, grinding games,” Lemieux said. “Being that team that’s hard to play against defensively, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”
Lemieux also drew a penalty shot 57 seconds into the third period when Tyler Myers chopped at him on a breakaway, but Halák easily stopped Lemieux’s low attempt.
“I was a little tired,” Lemieux admitted. “It was a long shift, and to get it then, yeah, wasn’t my best.”
Phillip Danault returned for the Kings from a stint on the non-roster/COVID-19 list that forced him to miss Tuesday’s loss to Vegas. Cal Petersen exited the protocols Wednesday and served as Quick’s backup against the Canucks.
Vancouver’s COVID-19 problems grew Thursday when forward Justin Dowling entered the league protocols. A day earlier, Brock Boeser and Phil Di Giuseppe entered the protocols.
Canucks: At Seattle on Saturday.
Kings: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
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