Canucks topple Kings with 5-2 victory

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 3, 2013 at 1:46 am •  Published: March 3, 2013

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks turned to their top line to break out of a two-game funk.

Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen scored 2:44 apart late in the second period to lead the Canucks to a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Dan Hamhuis and Mason Raymond also scored and Chris Higgins added an empty-net goal for Vancouver, which put forth a strong effort against the defending Stanley Cup champions to stop a two-game losing streak.

Justin Williams and Jordan Nolan scored for Los Angeles, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.

"Our second period was a bit sloppy, and with the team they have over there, they can capitalize on their chances," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "We gave them way too many odd-man rushes, and that resulted in a couple of goals which ended up costing us the game."

On multiple occasions Alex Burrows and the Sedins not only riled up the crowd with their prolonged shifts in the Los Angeles zone, but their teammates, as well.

"You feed off it, right? It's huge," said teammate Mason Raymond, who had plus-3 rating. "It's fun to watch. I think the crowd gets into it, you can hear the 'wows' in the crowd, and as a team and a player you feed off it. Those are the momentum swings we like to use."

Following disappointing 8-3 and 4-2 losses to Detroit and Phoenix, and without center Ryan Kesler (fractured foot), the Canucks were in need of a strong outing to maintain their place atop the Northwest Division.

Vancouver played a gritty, tight-checking game.

Defenseman Andrew Alberts was in the lineup in favor of Keith Ballard (healthy scratch) to provide a physical presence in front of Vancouver's goal.

Canucks newcomer Tom Sestito — picked up on waivers from Philadelphia on Friday — hammered Colin Fraser with a clean check, and then got the better of Nolan in an ensuing first-period fight.

The 6-foot-5 Sestito drew an extended round of applause from the crowd after the bout.

"That's what I'm here for," Sestito said. "Get the crowd into it, get the guys into it and make sure the other guys know what is going to happen if they hit somebody."

Kevin Bieksa, who returned after missing two games with a groin injury, also had a strong game for Vancouver's defense.

Up front, the Canucks' top line combined for five points.

"That was our best game in a long time," Henrik Sedin said. "It felt good. We got the puck down low. We were matched up against Kopitar, which is an offensive line also, so it makes it a little bit easier to generate chances."

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