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Kopitar's OT goal pushes Kings past Canucks

The SportsXchange

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar did not like the way his team played at times Monday night, but he had no complaints about the final result.

Kopitar's goal 48 seconds into overtime gave the Kings a 3-2 comeback win over the Vancouver Canucks.

"We had a pretty good first period," he said. "After that, they took it to us. In the second, we were a little bit flat-footed, lots of chippiness going on, but we made it, (held) our ground and were able to come back."

Kopitar scored off defenseman Slava Voynov's pass from behind the net after Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa fanned on a clearing attempt.

"(Voynov) chipped it into the corner, and (Bieksa) fanned on the first pass, and I was there," Kopitar said. "I was in the middle of the ice, pretty much on top of the crease. I yelled for (the puck) just to make sure (Voynov) saw me, and I was able to put just enough on (the shot)."

The decisive shot, which went over Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo's glove before he had much time to react, capped Los Angeles' rally from a 2-1, third-period deficit.

"Obviously, we don't want to put ourselves in a position like this, but sometimes it's welcome, I guess," Kopitar said. "It just gets the energy going."

The Kings (16-6-3) earned their first victory in three games, while the Canucks (12-9-5) suffered their seventh loss in eight outings.

Left winger Kyle Clifford, in the first period, and center Mike Richards, with just under three minutes left in the third, also scored for the Kings.

"We've just gotta scrape and claw for points, and that's what we did tonight," Richards said. "It wasn't the prettiest on our part. We took too many penalties and we turned some pucks over, but two points is what we wanted."

The Canucks scored on one of eight power plays. The Kings were denied on two power plays.

Luongo recorded 19 saves as the Canucks outshot the Kings 39-22.

"That's the way things are going. I don't have much to say," said Luongo, adding the Canucks did some good things in the second half of the game before falling short again.

Los Angeles goalie Ben Scrivens, who assumed the starter's role as a result of Jonathan Quick's groin injury, finished with 37 saves while improving his record to 6-1-3.

Scrivens indicated that he was not deterred after center Henrik Sedin's power-play goal at 6:59 of the third period gave the Canucks the lead.

"You always have to have that belief that you can come back, whether it's by one or by five, no matter how much it is," Scrivens said. "You just have to keep going. That's the reason we play 60 minutes."

Defenseman Chris Tanev also scored for the Canucks.

Tanev created a 1-1 tie at 17:04 of the middle frame as he gloved down a pass from left winger Chris Higgins and put in a wrist shot from the point. The goal was Tanev's first of the season and the third of his NHL career.

Until then, it looked like a fight between Vancouver defenseman Ryan Stanton and Los Angeles center Jordan Nolan was going to be the highlight.

Henrik Sedin put the Canucks ahead 2-1 as he put in a pass from his twin brother, left winger Daniel Sedin. After deflecting a Henrik Sedin pass into Scrivens' pads, Daniel Sedin grabbed the rebound and sent the puck back to his sibling. Henrik Sedin then whipped the puck home, and in a rare show of emotion, knelt and pumped his fist in celebration as he circled the net.

Richards pulled the Kings even with just under three minutes left in regulation time. Center Jeff Carter, playing his first game since late October after recovering from a foot injury, assisted on the marker.

"I'm very excited about some of the things that happened tonight," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "You may call me crazy, but I am."

But Tortorella, in a repeat of several recent refrains, lamented his club's inability to finish.

"We've just got to keep banging away and work on some details of the game, understand situational play and keep working at this," he said.

NOTES: Canucks LW Daniel Sedin lost a tooth when he was high-sticked by Kings D Jake Muzzin 21 seconds into the second period. Muzzin only received a minor penalty although some blood was visible in Sedin's mouth as held the tooth and showed it to a referee. Sedin stayed on the ice for the ensuing power play. ... Kings G Jonathan Quick (groin) was placed on injured reserve. ... Los Angeles backup G Martin Jones, a North Vancouver, British Columbia, native, who was promoted recently from AHL Manchester as a result of Quick's injury, dressed for an NHL game in his hometown rink for the first time. ... Canucks RW David Booth returned to action after being scratched for three straight games. He replaced C Jeremy Welsh, who was scratched despite scoring his first NHL goal two games ago.
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