The Canucks rallied with three goals in the third period, but the Kings held on for a 5-4 victory on Thursday night.
"We gave them an opportunity, and that's what great teams do," Kings center Craig Conroy said. "If you lose those kind of games, you really take it to heart and you think about it. The first game home after a long road trip is always the toughest, I think. I don't know why, but for us to come in here and beat a team like that is a big positive."
Jeff Cowan and Conroy scored 16 seconds apart in the third to give Los Angeles their four-goal lead and drive Vancouver goaltender Dan Cloutier to the bench with 16:40 remaining. Todd Bertuzzi scored about four minutes later on a power play and Markus Naslund had two goals in a 55-second stretch, narrowing the gap to 5-4 with 2:47 remaining.
"Dan battled very hard for us as he does every night. And without him in the net, it would probably have been more than a 5-1 lead when he left," Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund said. "I don't think it had anything to do with Dan's play. But usually a change gives teams a little lift, and for us it did."
Pavol Demitra had three assists, and Mathieu Garon made 32 saves in his fourth consecutive start while Jason LaBarbara has been attending to personal matters. Alexander Frolov had two assists, giving the Frolov-Demitra-Conroy line 26 goals and 38 assists over the last 14 games.
"We're hungry and we're cruising right along," Conroy said. "Alex and Pavol are the type of guys that once they smell a little blood in the water, they're circling."
The three power-play goals were a season high for the Kings, who outshot Vancouver 12-1 over the first 12 1/2 minutes while taking a 2-0 lead.
"That first period was very undisciplined," Naslund said. "We gave them a lead that was tough to come back from. We battled hard to get back, but we started too late. We've got to play smarter. Consistency has been one of the big things we've tried to find all year, and we're still working on it."
There were 21 seconds remaining on a 5-on-3 advantage when Visnovsky used Cammalleri and Canucks defenseman Sami Salo as a screen to beat Cloutier to the stick side with a 30-foot slap shot at 9:39.
Visnovsky, who hadn't scored a goal in six games since his hat trick at Dallas on Nov. 2, connected again with 12 seconds still left on an interference penalty against Ohlund. Frolov earned his 100th NHL point on the play, setting up Visnovsky with a pass through the crease.
"They've got a good power play and we put ourselves in a bad spot," Naslund said. "The fact that we took so many penalties in the first period didn't help. Maybe it was a sign that we weren't ready to play. I'm not sure."
The Kings also capitalized on their next power play. Ohlund, playing in his 500th NHL game, fanned on an attempted clearing pass from the right corner of the Vancouver zone. Demitra jumped on the loose puck and passed to Cammalleri, who made a move to sidestep Richard Park and scored on a screened wrist shot from the slot at 1:38 of the second period.
The Canucks, who killed off all eight San Jose power plays in Wednesday's 3-1 victory, cut the Kings' lead to 3-1 at 16:12 of the middle period as Daniel Sedin got a perfect cross-ice pass at the right of the crease from brother Henrik to snap a 10-game goal drought.
|Goalie Dan Cloutier stops Alexander Frolov on this attempt, but the Russian does get two assists. (AP)|
|Los Angeles (13-6-1) «||2||1||2||5|
|09:39||Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (7), Slap Shot - Assists: Pavol Demitra and Michael Cammalleri|
|10:32||Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (8), Slap Shot - Assists: Alexander Frolov and Pavol Demitra|
|01:38||Power Play - Michael Cammalleri (6), Slap Shot - Assists: Pavol Demitra and Alexander Frolov|
|16:12||Daniel Sedin (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Henrik Sedin and Anson Carter|
|03:04||Jeff Cowan (3), Tip-In - Assists: Eric Belanger and Sean Avery|
|03:20||Craig Conroy (11), Wrist Shot - Assist: Alexander Frolov|
|07:30||Power Play - Todd Bertuzzi (8), Tip-In - Assists: Sami Salo and Markus Naslund|
|11:18||Markus Naslund (11), Backhand Shot - Assists: Nolan Baumgartner and Mattias Ohlund|
|17:13||Markus Naslund (12), Tip-In - Assists: Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison|
|02:04||Green: Hooking - 2 min.|
|04:25||Ohlund: Hooking - 2 min.|
|08:00||Parros: Fighting - 5 min.|
|08:00||Brookbank: Fighting - 5 min.|
|08:00||Brookbank: Instigator - 2 min.|
|08:00||Brookbank: Game Misconduct - 10 min.|
|08:44||Ohlund: Interference - 2 min.|
|17:49||Corvo: Holding - 2 min.|
|00:43||Allen: Hooking - 2 min.|
|02:19||Brown: High sticking - 2 min.|
|13:31||Conroy: Holding - 2 min.|
|14:11||Gleason: Interference - 2 min.|
|17:37||Allen: Tripping - 2 min.|
|06:29||Miller: Interference - 2 min.|
|08:24||Allen: Holding - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 18118|
|Game Time - 60:00|
|Referees - Mike Leggo, Chris Rooney|
|Line Judges - Angelo D'Amico, Brad Lazarowich|