Los Angeles 4, Vancouver 2
KINGS 4, CANUCKS 2: Dustin Penner snapped a tie with 3:14 remaining in the third period as visiting Los Angeles upset the Presidents’ Trophy winners in the opener of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Mike Richards recorded a goal and two assists, defenseman Willie Mitchell and captain Dustin Brown also scored and Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the Kings, who outshot the Canucks 39-26.
Richards caused a turnover in the offensive zone and made a pass from the top of the left faceoff circle to Jeff Carter, who directed the puck across the slot with his skate. Penner quickly fired the puck past Roberto Luongo to give Los Angeles a 3-2 edge.
Brown sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining.
With Daniel Sedin sitting out his 10th straight game with a concussion, the Vancouver Canucks got on the board 4:17 into the first period on a questionable goal by Alex Burrows.
Burrows grabbed his own rebound in the high slot and fired it past Quick, who was knocked down moments earlier by Ryan Kesler. Quick’s protest fell on deaf ears, however, as Burrows was awarded his 17th career playoff goal.
Los Angeles answered during the first of its two 5-on-3 advantages in the session as Richards banked a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle off Luongo with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
Former Canuck Mitchell gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with 3:27 left in the second when his blast from the left point deflected off Jannik Hansen’s stick and past Luongo with 39 seconds to go on Byron Bitz’s five-minute major for boarding.
Canucks blue-liner Alex Edler evened the contest with 7.3 seconds remaining in the second as his wrist shot from the right point hit a defender’s stick and sailed over Quick.
Kesler notched two assists and Luongo stopped 35 shots for the Canucks, who lost for the first time in nine playoff series openers.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Carter returned to the Kings’ lineup from an ankle injury and recorded a pair of assists. … Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty led all players with 28:18 of ice time. … Vancouver lost for only the second time with Sedin out of the lineup. … The Kings have won only four of their last 12 visits to Rogers Arena.
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