Kings 3 Canucks 2 (OT)
VANCOUVER — Anze Kopitar scored a power-play goal at 7:28 of overtime as the Los Angeles rallied from two goals back to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in overtime to tie their first-round NHL playoff series Saturday night.
The Kings were given the power play after the Canucks were caught with too many men on the ice during a line change.
Kopitar scored on a shot that hit the handle of goaltender Roberto Luongo’s stick and went into the net.
The Canucks looked to have the game locked up after the first period but the Kings erased a 2-0 deficit with goals 35 seconds apart in the second.
Mikael Samuelsson, with his third of the playoffs, and Steve Bernier, on a power play, scored for Vancouver.
Ryan Kesler, who was quiet in the opening game of the series, had two assists.
Fredrik Modin, on the power play, and Wayne Simmonds, on a three-on-one breakaway, scored for the Kings.
The Canucks won the opening game 3-2 in overtime Wednesday.
The best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series now returns to Los Angeles for games Monday and Wednesday.
Vancouver had two chances to win the game in the third period.
Defenceman Kevin Bieksa launched a rocket from the blue-line that L.A. goaltender Jonathan Quick managed to get his left foot on.
Later, Henrik and Daniel Sedin were bearing down on Quick. Daniel tried to slide a pass to his brother but some quick stickwork by defenceman Drew Doughty broke up the play.
The Kings looked on the brink until Modin’s goal got them back in the match.
Defenceman Jack Johnson was the workhorse on the play. He broke in on net and fired a shot that Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo stopped.
Johnson got the rebound and flipped it back in front of the net, where Modin knocked it past Luongo.
The Kings tied the game on a play which started when Canuck defenceman Sami Salo fell at the L.A. blue-line. Three Kings started up the ice with Alexander Elder the lone defenceman back.
Kopitar carried the puck, then fed Simmonds who beat Luongo with a low shot. It was the Kings’ first even-strength goal of the series.
The Canucks had just four shots on net in the first period but led 2-0 on goals 2:16 apart.
Bernier opened the scoring at 7:33 with Ryan Smith in the penalty box for interference. Kesler let go a shot that Quick appeared to get a piece of. The puck bounced around in the crease until Bernier finally managed to shovel it into the net.
The goal snapped a long scoring drought for Bernier. He had surgery for a sport hernia on March 11 and scored just one goal in 23 games after Christmas.
Quick looked soft on Samuelsson’s goal. The big Swede, who scored the winner in overtime Wednesday, let got an innocent-looking wristshot from about 40 feet out that skipped by Quick’s right toe.
Some in the sellout crowd of 18,810 amused themselves by taunting the L.A. goalie with chants of “not so Quick.”
In an attempt to shake up his lineup Kings’ coach Terry Murray benched first-line winger Justin Williams along with defenceman Randy Jones and forward Raitis Ivanas. They were replaced by forwards Scott Parse and Rich Clune plus defenceman and Peter Harrold.
Notes: Defenceman Andrew Alberts was back in Vancouver’s lineup despite taking a boarding major and game misconduct in Game 1. He was called for two penalties in the first period and another in the third . . .Forward Michael Grabner was inserted for his first NHL playoff game, meaning Matt Pettinger watched from the press box. …Defenceman Christian Ehroff had 30:35 of ice time in Game 1.