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Canucks 2, Kings 1

The SportsXchange

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Right winger Brad Richardson scored with 1:23 left in the third period and the Vancouver Canucks kept their slim NHL playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Richardson took a pass from right winger Zack Kassian and fired a shot past the glove of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Defenseman Alex Edler had tied the score on the power play for the Canucks, who improved their record to 35-31-11 for 81 points.

Defenseman Slava Voynov scored a power-play goal for the Kings. LA (45-26-6, 96 points) is headed to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

The Dallas Stars' 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night and the Canucks' victory kept Vancouver from being mathematically eliminated in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The first period resembled a preseason game with lots of skating, a little hitting and no goals. The Kings played like a team with nothing to lose and the Canucks looked cautious about trying to win.

Los Angeles opened the scoring late in the second period after Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado was called for interference.

Kings center Jeff Carter was the workhorse on the goal. He dug the puck out from a scrum behind the Vancouver net and sent a pretty pass to a wide-open Voynov in the slot. He beat Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack with a high shot for his fourth goal of the season.

The Canucks tied it early in the third period after LA right winger Dustin Brown was called for roughing. A pass by Vancouver left winger Daniel Sedin deflected off Edler's skate.

Lack made some early saves to keep the Canucks in the game. There were chants of "Eddie, Eddie" after he slid across the crease to stop center Tyler Toffoli early in the second period. In the first, he blocked a blistering wrist shot from defenseman Jake Muzzin and then stopped right winger Justin Williams when he tried to knock in the rebound.

Brown had a chance near the end of the first period when he rang a shot off the crossbar behind Lack.

Vancouver right winger Nicklas Jensen had a great scoring chance in the second period. He had Quick down and out but fired his shot high over the net.

NOTES: The game's first penalty was not called until 8:10 of the second period, when Kings D Matt Greene was sent off for delay of game. Then four penalties were called in just over four minutes. ... Kings D Drew Doughty was scratched with an upper-body injury. He was replaced by D Andrew Campbell. ... Coming into the game, Los Angeles had outscored its opponents 70-57 in the third period and Vancouver had been outscored 74-56. ... C Henrik Sedin returned to the Canucks' lineup after missing four games with a knee injury. ... Many believe Vancouver GM Mike Gillis sent a warning to coach John Tortorella this week when he told a local radio station "If people don't want to get on-side with how I view this team and how it's supposed to play, then they won't be here." ... Vancouver D Frank Corrado, called up from the AHL Utica Comets, replaced D Yannick Weber.

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