The Canucks worked their tails off to give themselves a 2-1 lead on Monday night, gnawing away at the pads of Ben Scrivens before Henrik Sedin finally whacked home that go-ahead goal with 13 minutes to go.
Something about Henrik’s celebration – not unlike the one he had when he scored the winner in Game 4 of the Canucks-Kings playoffs series in 2010 – made you believe that Vancouver might just actually win this one. (How silly.)
But then, two late mistakes by Vancouver’s defensively toxic twins handed the game right back to the Los Angeles Kings. Final score: L.A. 3, Vancouver 2. In overtime.
“It’s extremely tough to take, but we’re playing some of the best teams here,” said captain Henrik after the game. “We’re right there, we’re battling, we’re playing very well defensively.
“There’s a few mistakes here and there that are costing us, and we’ve gotta score more goals. That’s number one.”
The Canucks certainly didn’t make it easy on themselves with only two goals on 39 shots and a powerplay that went 1-for-8.
But it wasn’t the offence that killed Vancouver tonight. It was their defence and, specifically, two defencemen at the worst possible moments.
With 2:04 left, it was Alex Edler leaving the biscuit behind the net, attempting to hit an out-of-the-way Dwight King instead of simply clearing the puck around the boards and out of the zone. With Edler happy with his hit on King, Jeff Carter grabbed the puck and fed Mike Richards, who tucked a tap-in between Roberto Luongo’s legs.
In overtime, it was Kevin Bieksa.
Bieksa whiffed on a backhand behind the net, which was scooped by Slava Voynov and passed out front to Anze Kopitar, who went high over Luongo’s left arm for the winner.
The loss leaves the Canucks with just one win in their past eight games.
“I’m standing here after every game and we’re talking about the same things,” said Henrik Sedin. “We’re battling. We’re playing real well defensively. We’re getting shots. We’re getting chances.
“The puck’s not going in but we have to stick with our gameplan, otherwise we’re going to start losing games more than we are right now.”