Kings dig out of early hole but come up short after Canucks score late

The Canucks' Elias Pettersson, right, reaches for the puck in front of the Kings' Blake Lizotte during the third period Saturday.
The Canucks’ Elias Pettersson, right, reaches for the puck in front of the Kings’ Blake Lizotte during the third period Saturday night.
(Darryl Dyck / Associated Press)

Elias Pettersson scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season and Jacob Markstrom made 49 saves as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Kings 3-2 on Saturday night.

Jake Virtanen also scored his 11th goal of the season and Tyler Motte had his second for Vancouver (20-15-4).

Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings (16-21-4), who were playing their second game in as many nights following a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose.


Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the Kings.

Starting his ninth straight game since Dec. 10, Markstrom improved his record over that span to 5-4-0 as he earned his 100th career NHL win.

The Kings were 0 for 3 on the power play, while the Canucks were 0 for 1. It was the first time in six games that Vancouver failed to score with the man advantage.

In their first game action after a four-day holiday break, the Canucks looked sluggish off the opening faceoff. Markstrom kept the game scoreless as the Kings recorded the first nine shots of the game.

Virtanen got Vancouver on the board with 9:38 left in the first. He grabbed a big rebound off his own shot near the right boards and fired the puck high over an outstretched Quick.

Motte doubled Vancouver’s lead with 28 seconds left in the opening frame, following up a Pettersson rush and rifling a snap shot to the far side over Quick’s glove.

The Kings continued to pressure in the second period, with Markstrom’s biggest save coming off a Toffoli breakaway. On the 25th Kings shot of the game, with 8:08 left in the second period, Kopitar got his team on the scoreboard. He poked a loose puck between the post and Markstrom’s outstretched right foot for his team-leading 15th goal of the year.


Shots after two periods were 30-17 for the Kings.

The Kings tied the game 2-2 at the 6:46 mark of the third period when Toffoli found a loose puck just outside the Vancouver crease.

It took Vancouver just 19 seconds to reply, with J.T. Miller feeding Pettersson off the rush for his 18th goal of the year.

That was enough, as Markstrom stopped 20 of 21 shots in the third.

The Canucks are 3-0-0 against the Kings this season and finished their holiday homestand with a 4-1-0 record. Saturday’s win gives Vancouver 44 points, tying it with the Edmonton Oilers for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The win is Vancouver’s fourth in a row, its second-such streak of the season.