Canucks 3, Kings 2 (SO): Vintage Demko steals a win in Los Angeles


It’s not how many shots you take, it’s what you do with them.

If anyone in hockey has said this before, and it’s hard to imagine no one has, their name hasn’t been written.

But maybe Elias Pettersson should get credit, even if he didn’t say so after the game.

The Vancouver Canucks star center tied the game 2-2 Saturday night at Arena against the Los Angeles Kings with a lethal shot to the wrist on a third-period power play. Vancouver would send the game to overtime and win it 3-2 in a shootout with JT Miller scoring the game-winner.

Pettersson’s goal was just the 10th shot of the game for Vancouver as the Kings outscored Vancouver 40-17. The Canucks only had six shots in the first two quarters.



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Thatcher Demko made 38 saves, stealing a win in what was a truly terrible effort for the Canucks.

On Thursday in Arizona, head coach Rick Tocchet said his team was sleepy. And they looked even sleepier in Los Angeles, at least until Pettersson scored to tie the game.

Tyler Myers missed the game because he was feeling under the weather, which makes one wonder if he was the only one not feeling well given the lack of energy in the Canucks’ game.

Brock Boeser scored the first goal of the game, then Alex Edler tied things up for the Kings.

Carl Grundstrom put the Kings in front in the second, before Pettersson’s third-period shot from the right wing tied the game and sent the matter into overtime.

This is what we learned…

Demko vintage

Much of last season’s playoff push was on their goalie.

Much of this season’s early season struggles were also due to their goalie.

The one true constant was that the Canucks were terrible defensively last year and even worse during the first half of this season.

Since returning on Feb. 27 against Dallas, Demko has been outstanding. He’s been the goalie Bruce Boudreau praised so many times last season and was lamented by Canucks fans most nights last fall.

He made 38 saves Saturday, the fourth time in eight starts since returning, he faced 30-plus shots, though the first time in five games.

Deserve has a lot to do with it

Brock Boeser hit the posts in the previous two games and had a couple of glorious chances to score.

However, he could not find the back of the net.

Knowing how hockey gods work, it wasn’t a surprise that he scored on a shot from the wing that was deflected by defender Edler of all people, putting a bad dip on his shot. The puck eluded LA goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

special teams

On Thursday in Arizona, the Canucks’ penalty was terrible (allowing two goals) and so was their power play, going scoreless five times.

It was the reverse story on Saturday, as his league-worst penalty gave the Kings very little on two power plays, while Pettersson’s goal came on the Canucks’ only power play opportunity, at the end of the third period.


The first period featured just eight matchups that only took 25 minutes of real time.

head on

Carl Grundstrom scored what looked like it was going to be the game-winner for the Kings after leading a textbook forecheck behind the Canucks’ arc.

Hughes tried to pick up a bouncing puck with his foot (the ice at basketball-occupied Arena is some of the worst in the league) and it was Grundstrom who took over the Canucks defenseman’s momentary lack of control. , normally safe. He stapled Hughes to the backboards and spilled the puck onto Arthur Kaliyev, who found Rasmus Kupari in the slot.

Kupari then spotted Grundstrom out of control at the side of the net and although the Swede was unable to pick up the puck with his stick, he redirected it with his foot and was credited with the goal.

By the rules, it probably shouldn’t have been a goal, but the Canucks didn’t challenge the play.

In the farm

There isn’t much for the NHL Canucks to play, but the AHL Canucks are almost certainly destined for the playoffs and the Canucks bosses are very interested in their progress.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin last month praised the culture that has developed at Abbotsford and speaking to players like Guillaume Brisebois and Christian Wolanin, who have spent a lot of time in the minors this season, it’s all about the energy. that the younger players on the team bring to the table.

“The boys are young. They have energy,” Brisebois said.

The young players see their dream and are working for it, he said. He has also given her energy.

“I’m 25 years old and I’m an old guy there,” he said with a laugh.

Arshdeep Bains is one of several interesting prospects in Abbotsford. Signed out of the WHL last summer, Bains’ work ethic would take him a long way, everyone said.

He has always paid attention to detail and has worked hard to understand the flaws in his skill set and how he could improve them.

He scored a short-handed goal on Saturday against the Kings’ AHL affiliate Ontario Reign, which speaks to how useful he has been as a player in the AHL.

bear face

Ethan Bear was back in the lineup on Saturday, having missed the last three weeks after taking a puck in the mouth on February 25.

The blow caused a concussion, knocked out a tooth and is likely to cause him to lose a few more due to damage to the roots of neighboring teeth. His mouthguard apparently prevented further damage.

He dressed in place of Myers, who was indisposed.


The Canucks host Pride Night on March 31.

The Kings hosted Pride Night on Saturday night. The designer of their warm-ups this year is Mio Linzie, who designed the Canucks’ Pride warm-ups last season.

Linzie had to do a ceremonial faceoff before the game.

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