Kopitar Leads Kings to 4th Consecutive Victory Against Canucks: Game Recap

Kopitar Kings Canucks recap

Anze Kopitar provided both goals and assists for Los Angeles Kings as they earned their fourth straight win with a 3-2 triumph against Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Monday.

Kopitar Kings Canucks recap

Kevin Fiala and Blake Lizotte both scored, with Cam Talbot making 21 saves to lead the Kings (38-22-11) on an opening Canada road trip win – their fifth of six over that timeframe. Los Angeles came within one point of overtaking the Edmonton Oilers to secure second place in the Pacific Division.

“Not much room out there; an intense physical, emotional game,” Kopitar noted after Sunday’s matchup against Toronto. “With 11 games left until we finish this season off strong. So it is certainly nice having this atmosphere and pressure at the end of games.”

Kings vs Canucks game highlights

Brock Boeser and Sam Lafferty scored for Vancouver (45-19-8). Casey DeSmith made 16 saves to keep Vancouver within striking distance of earning a Stanley Cup Playoff berth with victory; otherwise, they would have fallen victim to regulation play loss for just the second time since early November (7-2-1).

“We knew it would be like playing in a playoff game, and we battled, but yeah, it’s frustrating,” Lafferty noted. “Their team is awesome; we know what to expect with them moving forward – so I think we are gearing up nicely – though this wasn’t our night.”
Fiala gave Los Angeles an early lead at 7:01 of the first period when Vancouver left only one defenseman on during a changeover. Pierre-Luc Dubois passed from the right dot to Fiala near the left face-off circle and scored with a quick shot into an open net before DeSmith could cross.

“[Assistant coach Adam Foote] told him to jump, but due to some unknown reason, he decided not to,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet lamented about not having two defensemen available during practice.

Lafferty made it 1-1 at 12:50 by cutting through the low slot and firing his shot past Talbot’s outstretched glove for his first goal in over 12 games.

Los Angeles Kings winning streak news

Lizotte put the Kings back ahead 2-1 at 16:29 of the second period when scoring on a delayed penalty against Carson Soucy. With Talbot off of the bench as an extra attacker, Kopitar sent a cross-ice pass directly to Lizotte at the right dot, where her one-timer hit both Soucy’s skates as Soucy battled with Trevor Lewis directly in front.

“Lisette said of Lewis that they understand what it’s like to play at this time of year and deep into playoffs and where games are won: in tight spaces around the net and close to goal where goals tend to happen more frequently – my goal tonight took nine or 10 bounces before finally going in; Vancouver are certainly formidable opponents, but for sure we were winning those battles in front of their net.”
Kopitar made it 3-1 at 18:20 after skating around behind the net and tapping in after his initial shot from the right circle sailed past DeSmith but hit off its far post as Adrian Kempe and Quinton Byfield (both who received assists on this play) battled for position near it.

“All I was hoping for was for it to stay just long enough so that I could come around the net, and it did,” Kopitar noted.

NHL game recap Kopitar Canucks

Kopitar earned four consecutive multipoint games during this streak and now boasts nine points (four goals and five assists). Kempe currently leads with eight points (1 goal and 7 assists) over four games, and Byfield has recorded assists in each of three consecutive contests.

“Our line is definitely improving,” Kopitar stated, “and getting their confidence back. Recently they’ve made some plays which resulted in goals, making you feel more at ease on the ice as time seems to slow down a little.”

Boeser made it 3-1 at 17:07 of the third period with DeSmith pulled for an extra attacker, scoring with a slap shot from above the right circle that deflected off Kopitar’s skate in the slot and into goal. Vancouver managed only one shot on goal in that period before pulling DeSmith at 15:27 for their extra attacker.

Canucks vs Kings latest match result

Vancouver then obtained a power play, prompting DeSmith to pull again but only manage one shot on net.

“Our third period was our strongest performance; until they scored with an empty net goal, I thought we did quite well in managing them,” Kings interim coach Jim Hiller stated. “Didn’t give them much at all until a couple saves by Talbot and some blocked shots from teammates pushed us over the finish line to win this one; theirs is an outstanding team; we are happy we were able to beat them.”

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