Instant Reaction: Early penalties lead to the Canucks’ demise against the Kings

Photo credit:Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
1 month ago
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Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below!
Tonight’s Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings game is yet another playoff primer for what could be a potential round-one matchup. The Kings sit in the bottom Wild Card spot, set to face the Dallas Stars, avoiding their previous first-round nemesis from the last two seasons, the Edmonton Oilers. 
Here are the Canucks lines for tonight’s game.
Let’s get into tonight’s matchup.
It didn’t take long for the Canucks to find the sin-bin. Teddy Blueger took a slashing penalty in his own end, leading to an Adrian Kempe powerplay goal just three minutes into the game.
Dakota Joshua made his presence felt early in the game, using his body to help clear the zone on the penalty kill. He would later take an interference penalty, which led to the second Kings powerplay goal in under six minutes of the game.
After, quite frankly, five minutes of straight dominance by the Kings, Brock Boeser takes an Elias Pettersson pass in the left face-off circle and dekes around Cam Talbot to get the Canucks on the board.
After this, the Canucks brought their game. They dominated play as they out-shot the Kings 3-1 in the final nine minutes of the period while having seven total shot attempts in the period.
The only type of pressure the Kings got in the first period came off the helm of Teddy Blueger. He took the first penalty early in the game which led to the first goal, and gave up a costly turnover in his own end, leading to a scoring chance from the Kings.
I’m going a little rogue here by including my own clip, but this was impressive. Watch Nikita Zadorov’s skating to catch up to the speedy Kempe and completely cut off his scoring opportunity. 
Brock Boeser owns the Kings, with 26 points in just 19 games against the club. He continued this as he scored in the first period and read the ice very well defensively. For a guy who is often criticized in the defensive zone, he made some great reads to cut off passes that led to offence.
While Boeser’s defensive efforts were much appreciated, they were let down by Blueger and the fourth line. Their line was out on the ice, allowing Jordan Spence to fire a point shot, which Alex Laferierre tipped to give the Kings a two-goal lead.
Who would have thought that an Anze Kopitar’s defensive zone flip out of the zone would turn into Kevin Fiala’s goal? He outraced Carson Soucy to the loose puck, and after Casey DeSmith’s initial stop, Fiala buried his own rebound to push their lead to 4-1.
Quinn Hughes continued his typical antics, carrying the offensive pressure through the offensive zone in an attempt to right the ship.
Well, well, well, what do you know, another period without a penalty called in the Canucks favour.
As I typed the message above, the Canucks leader in penalty minutes drawn, Elias Pettersson, draws yet another tripping penalty on Kings forward Phillip Danault.
The initial powerplay didn’t look awful. They had Miller on his off-wall, with Garland in the bumper. While this powerplay was unsuccessful, there was a bright point that I remembered from the beginning of the season.
Do any of you remember when they did this at the beginning of the season?
The Canucks put Boeser in the bumper, which resembled the same connection they showed when Miller would pass to Bo Horvat in the slot the previous season – except now it’s on the opposite side. If they try this out again, it could revitalize what was one of the league’s top powerplays.
If I could continue to give my opinion on the powerplay, would you remember this play?
Boeser was still in the bumper, and Miller was passing it to the same handedness, just on the proper side now. It looks like the Canucks are trying to recreate this magic.
The Canucks would dominate the second period as they outshot the Kings 20-12.
One last note on the second period is the non-quit of Elias Pettersson. The back pressure Pettersson shows on this play to strip the Canadian Olympian, Drew Doughty, proves that no deficit is too big for defence.
The Canucks cut the lead to two with a nice goal by, who other than, Dakota Joshua. Garland and Joshua continue to prove their chemistry, as no matter who their centreman is, they still find a way to find the back of the net.
The two-goal lead didn’t last long as Trevor Moore extends their lead back to three, three minutes after the Joshua goal.
Teddy Blueger would redeem himself after two rough periods, and 40 games, by finding the back of the net short-handed, to push the lead to two again.
The Canucks would kill off the late two man advantage and get their own poweplay with under five minutes to play. The powerplay looked threatening, with Boeser, Garland and Hughes all creating chances. This was all for naught as they would allow Kempe to score a breakaway short-handed goal to extend the King’s lead to three.
The Canucks would lose 6-3 while outshooting their opponents 42-29.
What were your instant reactions to tonight’s game, Canucks fans?

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