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Vancouver at Los Angeles

Handzus' pair helps Kings down Canucks, take 2-1 series lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings skated into their first home playoff game in eight years to the thrashing guitars of a punk band performing in the upper deck.

The Kings then made sweeter music with their incredible power play, which chased Roberto Luongo out of Game 3 -- and is threatening to do the same to the rest of his Vancouver Canucks.

Michal Handzus scored two power-play goals, Drew Doughty had a power-play goal and three assists, and the Kings rolled to a 5-3 victory Monday night, taking a 2-1 series lead.

Brad Richardson and Ryan Smyth also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves as the sixth-seeded Kings surged ahead in the best-of-7 series with another standout game from their relentless power play, which has seven goals after connecting three more times in Game 3.

"We're really working with each other well," said Smyth, whose play in front of the net is a big reason for the Kings' success. "We're really feeling each other out there and communicating. Momentum is everything in the playoffs, and it's pretty obvious we've got it in the special-teams area."

Game 4 will be Wednesday night at Staples Center, where the increasingly shaky Luongo doesn't exactly feel at home.

The Canucks' star goalie and Canadian Olympic hero gave up eight goals in an embarrassing loss to the Kings only 18 days ago, and he stopped only 12 of 16 shots before getting pulled late in the second period of Game 3 in front of a raucous Hollywood crowd watching its first playoff game since April 27, 2002.

With all things equal, the Canucks still think they're better than the Kings. When Los Angeles gets a man advantage, this series shifts precipitously in the Kings' favor.

"The only thing they had was the power play," said Canucks defenseman Sami Salo, who was on the ice for two of Los Angeles' power-play scores. "I think we dominated the game 5-on-5, so we have to dig in tomorrow and figure out our penalty kill, because it's costing us games."

Mikael Samuelsson scored his fourth goal of the series for Vancouver, which trimmed a three-goal deficit to 4-3 before the Kings finished strong. Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin also scored for third-seeded Vancouver, and Sedin had another apparent goal disallowed by video review.

Doughty and defenseman Jack Johnson, who had three assists, expertly ran the show as Los Angeles' power play again shredded the Canucks, scoring on each of its three chances in Game 3 -- and connecting each time before the first power-play unit even left the ice.

"We went out there, and the fans were unbelievable," Doughty said. "I didn't think [Los Angeles fans] could match Vancouver, but we did just that. ... I think we match up really well against Vancouver. Obviously they're a great team. They finished in third place. But if we keep playing the way we did tonight, we should win the series."

The Kings' defensive play against Vancouver's vaunted Sedin twins line was just as important as their power play, holding the Sedins and Alex Burrows to one shot in the first 40 minutes. NHL scoring champion Henrik Sedin has no goals and three assists in the series, while Burrows is scoreless.

After stressing discipline before traveling to Los Angeles, the Canucks couldn't have been happy with their three penalties in the first two periods -- and did the Kings ever make them pay.

Doughty scored midway through the first with a low slap shot through traffic for his first career playoff goal, and Handzus connected on a rebound of Johnson's shot one period later.

After Handzus batted in a rebound to put the Kings up 3-1, Vancouver's Kyle Wellwood and Aaron Rome made back-to-back giveaways in their own end, leading to Richardson's score. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault then pulled Luongo.

"Everybody knows what we've got to do on the ice," Luongo said. "It's just a matter of executing it. Sometimes when we're hesitant, things tend to happen. I'm already focused on the next game."

After Andrew Raycroft relieved Luongo and Samuelsson trimmed the Kings' lead, Daniel Sedin appeared to add another goal early in the third when a pass deflected off his right skate and under Quick.

But the goal was disallowed after a lengthy video review determined the puck had been kicked in. Vigneault, whose club lost Game 2 after a questionable penalty for too many men on the ice led to the Kings' decisive power-play goal, greeted this decision with a frustrated grimace.

"I think it was a good goal, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I think," Vigneault said.

"It looked like a kick to me," Kings coach Terry Murray said.

Only a few seconds later, Sedin scored a no-doubt goal on a long shot through traffic with 15:42 to play, but Smyth boosted the Kings' lead 5:03 later when his long shot hit Christian Ehrhoff and became a changeup that fooled Raycroft.

Notes

  • Handzus has only nine goals in 63 career playoff games.
  • The Kings wore their all-black third jerseys.
  • Vigneault made two personnel changes for Game 3, scratching penalty-prone D Andrew Alberts and C Rick Rypien in favor of Rome and F Tanner Glass, who made his NHL playoff debut. Rome had been out for several days with an undisclosed injury.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kings mascot Bailey congratulates defenseman Drew Doughty on his four-point evening.  (US Presswire)
Kings mascot Bailey congratulates defenseman Drew Doughty on his four-point evening. (US Presswire)
Scoreboard
Vancouver (1-2)1113
Los Angeles  (2-1) «1315
Three Stars
J. Johnson
LA


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
D. Doughty
LA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
M. Handzus
LA


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:09Mason Raymond (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kesler, Samuelsson
11:00Power Play - Drew Doughty (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Handzus, Brown
2ND PERIOD
04:06Power Play - Michal Handzus (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Johnson, Doughty
12:18Power Play - Michal Handzus (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Doughty, Johnson
13:21Brad Richardson (1), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
14:53Mikael Samuelsson (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Kesler
3RD PERIOD
04:18Daniel Sedin (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bieksa, Sedin
09:21Ryan Smyth (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Johnson, Doughty
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:29Ehrhoff, 2 min, Slashing
15:06O'Donnell, 2 min, High-Sticking
2ND PERIOD
03:24Sedin, 2 min, Holding
08:13Stoll, 2 min, Slashing
11:41Raymond, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
05:56Handzus, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
19:03Scuderi, 2 min, Cross-Checking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Vancouver1171028
Los Angeles711523
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Roberto Luongo33:21124
Andrew Raycroft24:3861
Jonathan Quick60:00253
Game Information
Attendance - 18264
Referees - Paul Devorski, Steve Kozari
Linesmen - Pierre Racicot, Tony Sericolo
 
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