VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Jeremy Roenick doesn't think
he has anything left to prove.
He showed USA Hockey that they might have made a mistake leaving
him off the Olympic team anyway.
Roenick laid a big hit on Brendan Morrison five seconds into the
game, then scored Los Angeles first goal and set up Derek Armstrong
for the second, rallying the Kings from an early two-goal deficit
before Alexander Frolov scored the lone goal of the shootout to
give them a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks Monday night.
"I don't need to prove myself to anybody," said Roenick, who
wasn't among the 23 players named to the U.S. squad before the game
started. "There's nobody on that Olympic team that has scored more
points than I have, who has had a career like I have in terms of
physicality and putting points on the board and being a leader."
With 481 goals and 1,133 points during 17 NHL seasons, Roenick
is second all time among American-born players in both categories.
But with just five goals and six assists this season before the
team was announced, he wasn't surprised to be left off.
That didn't mean the 35-year-old understood, or agreed with, the
"I think they were blackballing me from the beginning," said
Roenick, who represented the U.S. at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics.
"I m one of the guys who has gotten USA to where it is today
and to not have the opportunity to go back and try to win a gold
one more time, to me it's just disrespectful. They can beat me down
and say I'm over the hill or say that I don't have it anymore, but
to me I know that I do."
He did against the Canucks, but his goal and assist snapped an
eight-game drought and was first multiple-point game since scoring
twice in the season opener.
"If they want to keep me off because of my points that s all
well and good, but I'm a lot better hockey player than my points
indicate and I have played better as of late," said Roenick, who
was also left out of the shootout against Vancouver.
Instead, Frolov gave the Kings the win as he deked to his
forehand and tucked the puck between Alex Auld's legs. Mathieu
Garon made it stand up by stopping Markus Naslund's backhand as the
Kings overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to win the match-up of
Craig Conroy, who was named to the U.S. Olympic squad, scored
the other regulation Los Angeles goal shorthanded as the Kings, who
have won four of their last five, moved into a tie with Dallas for
top spot in the Pacific Division.
"It gets your blood pumping, Conroy said of the selection. "I
thought maybe I had a chance, but I thought I had a chance last
time too so I didn't get too excited and I was pretty happy when I
heard my name.
Conroy said he was disappointed for Roenick, his linemate on the
Kings top unit for the last four games, but happy to see him take
it out on the Canucks.
"Maybe it was a statement by him, maybe not, Conroy said. "I m
just glad he did it because we needed those points tonight.
The Canucks were more worried about the point they gave away. It
was also the second straight game Vancouver blew a two-goal lead
and gave up the tying goal shorthanded before losing in overtime.
"We need to be held more accountable, said Todd Bertuzzi, who
shot wide in the shootout. "They were two for-sure wins and it s
Garon, who also stopped Daniel Sedin in the shootout, made 26
saves in regulation and three more in overtime.
Auld made 24 saves before the shootout, including breakaway
stops on Frolov in the second period and Demitra late in the third.
He stopped Demitra again in the shootout and made a nice save on
Joe Corvo, but couldn't stop Frolov again.
Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa played his first NHL game after
being recalled from Manitoba of the AHL earlier in the day and took
a roughing penalty 10 seconds in. ... The Kings placed LW Jeff
Cowan on the injured reserve list before the game with a groin
injury that has forced him to miss four games already.