VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)Jacob Markstrom shrugged off a career-high save performance.
Elias Pettersson scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season and Markstrom made 49 saves as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Saturday night.
”I feel like if you look at it again, they throw a lot of pucks at net,” Markstrom said. ”There were some rebounds where they got a couple of whacks after it afterwards where maybe I could have held the first puck. When I get the win, it’s way easier to go through video afterward.”
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. His previous high was 47 saves in a 2-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Mar. 22, 2016.
”He stood on his head again today,” Pettersson said of Markstrom. ”We didn’t have our best game. We made a lot of turnovers. That’s why you have a good goalie, and he got us the win.”
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 Los Angeles (16-21-4), which was playing its second game in as many nights following a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose.
Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the Kings.
”The puck wasn’t our friend tonight, that’s for sure,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. ”We fought the puck tonight.
”I like how our guys found a way. Our goalie gave us a hell of a game and that’s a team that shoots the puck a lot. They go to the net. For being off, we had to get into some physical battles, which is also hard. To come out of this game with two points is big for our group.”
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 Los Angeles 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 of the year.
Shots after two periods were 30-17 for Los Angeles.
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.
”We’ve talked a lot in here about your best players scoring when you need them,” said Green. ”We needed one tonight, and they got it for us.”
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 them 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.
NOTES: Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davis cranked up the siren at Rogers Arena to start the game; New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton, from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was also on hand. … The Canucks wore their commemorative 50th anniversary `stick in rink’ jerseys. … Canucks defenseman Jordie Benn was a healthy scratch for the second-straight game, while Oscar Fantenberg dressed for his 100th career NHL game. … The Kings are 4-2-2 in their last eight road games.
Kings: Host Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Canucks: At Calgary Flames on Sunday.
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