LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings were a minute away from another disheartening post-Stanley Cup loss until Slava Voynov and Jeff Carter finally got a couple of pucks past Vancouver's Roberto Luongo.
Carter scored Los Angeles' first power-play goal of the season and added the only score in the shootout, leading the Kings to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Canucks on Monday night.
Voynov tied it with 43.2 seconds left in regulation for the defending NHL champions, who have won two straight after an 0-2-1 start. Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots for the Kings, including all three Vancouver attempts in the shootout.
"Any time you get two points, you get a little boost of confidence, but it's only good for tonight," Quick said. "It's a playoff race right now, and every point is huge."
Until Voynov sneaked a long shot through traffic, the Kings were on the verge of adding another loss to their slow start since winning their franchise's first title. Los Angeles' impressive finish that recalled several big wins in last season's playoffs, including a couple against the Canucks in their stunning first-round series.
"We're still not the way we were in June last year, but we're getting there," said Anze Kopitar, who had an assist on Voynov's goal. "It's definitely a step in the right direction. We still have to work on things, and everyone in here thinks we can crank it up a notch. We just want to make sure we build on this win and roll ahead."
Luongo made 26 saves for Vancouver, which went 1-1-1 on a three-game California road trip. Zack Kassian scored his fourth goal of the season, and Alex Burrows also scored a slick wraparound goal as the Canucks nearly persevered to a grinding victory in their fourth game in six nights before narrowly allowing Voynov's goal, which eventually cost them a point.
"We emptied the tank," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "Our guys did what they had to do to have a chance against the Stanley Cup champions. When you get the type of effort like we did tonight, you feel like you should win. Losing is not fun, but at the end of the day, some of our guys took a step in the right direction. ... The puck had eyes (on Voynov's goal), because we were in the right areas, the right place."
Luongo was sharp in his second start since losing his job to Cory Schneider, and Los Angeles struggled offensively through 59 frustrating minutes until pulling Quick for an extra attacker. Voynov teed up a shot from the point that found a hole in heavy traffic, wobbling past Luongo for the Russian defenseman's first goal of the season.
Continue reading this story on the...