Dustin Brown, Kings deal Canucks heavy blow in Game 2 - National Post

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Dustin Brown, Kings deal Canucks heavy blow in Game 2 - National Post
Apr 14th 2012, 05:22

Gerry Kahrmann/PNG staff photo

Gerry Kahrmann/PNG staff photo

Jonathan Quick, right, made an astounding 46 saves to give the Los Angeles Kings the opportunity to take a 2-0 series lead over the Vancouver Canucks.

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks' power play is performing about as well as one of those North Korean missiles.

And because of it, the Canucks just may crash and burn right out of the National Hockey League playoffs.

The power play not only didn't score, but it surrendered two short-handed goals Friday night as the Los Angeles Kings skated to a 4-2 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series.

Dustin Brown scored both of those short-handed goals for the Kings, who now take their commanding lead back to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4. Brown added a power-play goal in the third to complete his hat trick, the first by a King in the playoffs since Wayne Gretzky in 1993.

In their 42-year history, this is the first time the Canucks have dropped the opening two games of a playoff series at home.

Now they are going to have to try and win this series the hard way. The fact the Canucks have now lost six of their last seven playoff games does not inspire confidence they are up to the task.

If they need inspiration, they can look to the Boston Bruins, who lost the first two games of their opening-round series last year at home and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

The Canucks were 0-for-4 on the power play and are now 0-for-9 for the series.

Goalie Roberto Luongo, for the second straight game, did his best to give his team a chance to win.

With the Kings up 2-1 early in the third he made big saves off Brown and Colin Fraser, but the Canucks couldn't beat Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick to get the tying goal.

Brown scored his power-play goal at 8:30 of the third to give the Kings a 3-1 lead, jamming the puck under Luongo from the edge of the crease. Trevor Lewis made it 4-1 on a wraparound at 14:51 of the third after a Manny Malhotra giveaway.

Sammy Pahlsson made it 4-2 when he put a backhand past Quick at 16:22 on a rebound off a shot by Canucks defenceman Keith Ballard.

Brown scored his second short-handed goal of the night at 5:11 of the second to break a 1-1 tie. Brown was sprung free on a breakaway after Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis couldn't handle a Ryan Kesler pass at the blue-line. Brown beat Luongo with a backhand shot.

The Canucks had tied the game just 17 seconds into the second when Jannik Hansen tipped in a soft Henrik Sedin floater from the blue line.

Vancouver had some chances late in the period to tie the game. With 1:30 left, Kesler went around Kings defencemen Rob Scuderi and Drew Doughty but was robbed by Quick.

Brown opened scoring with nine seconds left in the first period after Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler coughed up the puck in his own end during a Canucks power play. Kings centre Anze Kopitar intercepted an Edler pass intended for Mason Raymond and skated in on a sprawling Luongo, who managed to get his toe on Kopitar's attempt. But Brown was able to fire the rebound into a wide-open net.

The goal came with Kings defenceman Willie Mitchell in the penalty box serving a holding minor. Mitchell was also in the box when Brown scored his second short-handed goal.

Coach Alain Vigneault, unhappy with his team's effort in Game 1, shuffled his forward lines and defensive pairings. Hansen moved up to skate with Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows on Vancouver's top line. Chris Higgins joined Kesler and David Booth on the second line, while Raymond and Maxim Lapierre skated with Pahlsson on the third line. Andrew Ebbett, Zack Kassian and Malhotra were on Vancouver's fourth line.

On defence, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa were reunited, Edler was paired with Sami Salo and Ballard played with Chris Tanev. Ballard played his first game since suffering a concussion on Feb. 7. Vancouver Sun

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