Canucks made special teams an advantage
It seemed inevitable, but the Kings still didn’t want to see it. In Game 4, the Vancouver Canucks got going on the power play. After going 0-for-14 on the man advantage in the first three games, the Canucks scored two power-play goals in Game 4 and, with the Sedins reunited, they looked like a different unit. Vancouver finished fourth in the NHL in power-play percentage in the regular season, and the team that has won the special-teams battle has won each of the four games. Jarret Stoll and Anze Kopitar know the Kings will have to do a better job against the Canucks’ power play in general, and against the Sedins in specific.
STOLL: “They get their power play clicking, and they can get a lot of momentum and confidence off of that, and they did. There’s a lot of teams in this league that, it’s a source of confidence, their power play, to get their whole team going. I think Vancouver is no different. They had a great power play all season. We’ve got to do a better job with discipline and, when we’re on the kill, we did a good job in the first three games but we were a little loose in our coverage and they picked us apart a little bit on the power play (in Game 4). So we know we’ve got to be better there.’’
KOPITAR: “They’ve been struggling on the power play, so I’m sure that after that (the first power-play goal of Game 4), they felt better about their power play. But it was still 1-1 at that point. They kept making plays, and they made it 2-1, and then it was catch-up hockey from that point on.’’
As for the Kings’ power play, it’s a tough read. The Kings went 3-for-12 in the first two games and looked good. Then, the Canucks adjusted and made the Kings look awful in an 0-for-8 power-play effort in Game 3. In Game 4, the Kings didn’t score on three power-play chances but looked a bit more threatening. Darryl Sutter indicated that he’s not counting on the Canucks getting called for a lot of penalties, so he’s stressing quality over quantity.
SUTTER: “Well, we’re going to get fewer (chances). That’s obvious, I think. There would have to be something changed for us to get more power plays. So you have to get as many quality chances as you can. I think our power play was better last game, but you do have to score on it. … If your power play scores big goals, that’s way more important that stats. It’s about big goals. Look at the last game. We think we played our best game. The score was 2-1. We have a shorthanded breakaway, don’t score. We have a penalty shot and don’t score. They score on the power play to make it 3-1. It’s (about) defining moments in the game.’’