The Canucks’ previous meeting with the Kings was in last season’s finale when Vancouver lost the game and the Northwest Division title.
“Obviously, it was in the back of our minds,” captain Markus Naslund said. “It was an upsetting way to end the regular season for us. They had nothing to play for that night, but they came out and played a strong game.”
The Canucks are unbeaten in six games overall, but won for the first time on the road. They have taken two straight in Los Angeles, where they were winless in their previous 14 visits (0-10-4).
Eric Belanger scored for the Kings, who had a goal disallowed at 8:57 of the first period when Sean Avery fanned on Belanger’s centering pass and directed it into the net with his skate. Vancouver scored less than 4 1/2 minutes later when Mike Keane set up Ohlund.
Sedin made it 2-0 at 8:27 of the second period, firing a low slap shot from the top of the left circle that goalie Roman Cechmanek fanned on with his glove. Kings coach Andy Murray then replaced Cechmanek with Cristobal Huet after just seven shots.
“It was my fault,” Cechmanek said. “I saw the shot and I had to stop it. I played a poor game. The team played a great game, and I have to be better.”
The change in goalies seemed to spark the Kings, who outshot Vancouver 9-2 the rest of the period. The Canucks, who entered averaging seven shots a game more than their opponents, were outshot 17-3 in the second period and 38-15 for the game. In the Kings’ previous game, they outshot Chicago 46-24 and lost 3-2.
“The second period was probably the worst we’ve played this season, but we still found a way to win,” Naslund said. “It wasn’t a pretty game, but Dan played outstanding. He’s the main reason we won.”
The Kings finally solved Cloutier about six minutes after Cechmanek was benched. Avery dug the puck out of the right corner and fed it back to Belanger, whose wrist shot from the point beat Cloutier through a screen.
Huet stopped seven of eight shots, including a breakaway by Sedin with 2:37 left. Morrison scored during a goalmouth scramble with 8:15 remaining.
“It’s one of those games that rips your heart out,” Kings coach Andy Murray said. “This was the way we want to play. We were aggressive, physical, on top of them, and we generated a multitude of chances. But their goaltender was better than our goaltender.”
The Canucks have scored first in each of their first 10 games, tying a franchise record set in January 2002.
“You always like it when teams have to chase you,” Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. “It’s been interesting that it’s been like that this year. We’re a pretty good club right now and we’ve worked pretty hard to get those goals.”
The Kings welcomed three players back to the lineup. Captain Mattias Norstrom missed seven games because of a bruised chest, defenseman Aaron Miller sat out eight games with a broken left wrist, and center Michael Cammalleri was sidelined eight games due to a sprained left knee.
But Jozef Stumpel was scratched because of a bruised chest, and defenseman Joe Corvo began serving a three-game suspension he received from the club afterpleading guilty to assault and battery charges earlier this week.
Todd Bertuzzi, who signed a four-year, $28-million contract extension on Sunday, has not scored in nine straight games after getting a goal on opening night. Last season, he set career highs with 46 goals and 97 points. … The Canucks also scored first in 10 straight games in January 2002. They are tied with the 1984 Calgary Flames for the second-longest streak to begin a season. Philadelphia scored the first goal in each of its first 12 games in1985.