NHL Game Summary - Los Angeles at Vancouver
(Saturday, October 9th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 2, Vancouver 1 (SO)
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Anze Kopitar scored the winner in the shootout, as the Los Angeles Kings took a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks in the opener for both squads.
After Mason Raymond was stopped by Jonathan Quick, Kopitar went to the backhand and lifted it past Roberto Luongo.
Ryan Kesler's wrister was stopped by Quick's pads, and Jack Johnson sealed the win when he blew a wrister past Luongo on the stick side.
Justin Williams scored the lone goal while Quick finished the game with 23 saves for the Kings, who are coming off a 101-point season, the best since the Wayne Gretzky-led Kings posted 102 points in 1990-91. However, the team was knocked out by these Canucks in six games in the first round.
"They spoiled our dream last year and we spoiled they're opening night here," said Williams. "It's nice to start the season with a win, but there's still 81 games to go."
Christian Erhoff scored the goal while Luongo stopped 31 shots for the Canucks, who made it to the second round of the playoffs last season, but were eliminated by Chicago in the conference semis for the second straight season.
"There were a bunch of guys out there who were rusty at the start," said Kesler. "It's a long offseason but once we all got our feet under us it was a good hockey game."
Vancouver took the initial lead at the 11:58 mark of the second period. Skating on the power play after Alexei Ponikarovsky was called for slashing, Daniel Sedin held the puck at the right circle. He paused for a moment to pick his lane and tried to dish the puck over to the left side. It hit off a King in front, but it went to the slot and Erhoff was able to put it home for the 1-0 lead.
Los Angeles, though, tied the game with 4:05 left in the third with a power- play goal. Michal Handzus held the puck at the top of the left circle and threw a shot on net that Luongo stopped, but the rebound sat in front and Williams backhanded it in.
Vancouver hosts Florida on Monday...Los Angeles plays in Calgary on Sunday...The Canucks took three of the four games against Los Angeles last season...Before the game, Henrik Sedin was named the 13th captain of the Canucks...Kopitar missed a long part of the second period after getting hit in the face with a high stick.
10/10 02:18:33 ET