No Power Play Punch Costs Kings Dearly


The Kings definitely had enough breaks against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday to sweep back-to-back games for the first time this season, but taking advantage of them was a different story.

Though two goals by the Canucks were disallowed, the Kings could not put away a slumping Vancouver team that had not won in seven games and they ended up losing, 3-2, before 14,549.

Two reasons the Kings failed to duplicate Sunday’s 3-2 victory at Edmonton were their power play--which was scoreless in six opportunities--and their own knack for drawing penalties.


“This is disappointing because we certainly got the breaks tonight, with them having a couple of goals disallowed,” left wing Luc Robitaille said. “Tonight was one of those nights that we didn’t score on the power play and that’s probably one of the reasons we didn’t win. It was a one-goal game that didn’t go our way.”

Vancouver, which had newly acquired goaltender Sean Burke and forward Geoff Sanderson in the lineup for the first time against the Kings, out-hustled Los Angeles down the stretch to even the season series between the Pacific Division rivals, 2-2. Burke made 19 saves to win his first game as a Canuck, and Mike Sillinger ended a 13-game scoreless drought with two goals. Sanderson had two assists.

King goaltender Frederic Chabot played well in making 23 stops, but their offense struggled, with only Jozef Stumpel and Sandy Moger scoring.

After a scoreless first period, Markus Sandlund put Vancouver ahead with a goal at 1:06 of the second and then the game got a little weird.

Video replay judge Bob Hall was called to duty after the Canucks took an apparent 2-0 lead at 3:55 when Mattias Ohlund put the puck in the net off an assist from Sanderson. However, referee Terry Gregson did not count the goal because he wanted to check a King scoring chance that had occurred 45 seconds earlier.

After review, the Kings’ two-goal deficit turned into a 1-1 tie because Stumpel’s shot, which bounced off Burke’s glove and behind him, was declared a score because Ohlund knocked the puck out of the air after it had crossed the goal line.


Gregson and Hall helped the Kings out again near the end of the period, when Pavel Bure scored an another apparent Vancouver goal at 18:11. But before Bure’s shot from the right wing had crossed the goal line, a penalty had been called on Mattias Norstom for holding Trevor Linden and their momentum had dislodged the Vancouver goal.

Vancouver began the third period with a man-advantage because of a cross-checking penalty on the Kings’ Russ Courtnall at the end of the second. The Canucks needed only 51 seconds to get their second goal when Sillinger deflected in a shot from the point by Enrico Ciccone.

The Canucks’ 2-1 lead was short-lived, however, because the Kings responded 30 seconds later with a goal by Sandy Moger, whose shot from inside the blue line bounced off the skate of Vancouver’s Donald Brashear and past Burke.

Vancouver took the lead for good at 9:12 when Sillinger chased down a loose rebound off a shot by Sanderson and scored from the slot.

“When you look at our inability on the power play and the fact that we took so many foolish penalties tonight was the big difference,” King Coach Larry Robinson said. “I thought for the most part that when we played five-on-five, we played pretty good hockey.”