Vancouver won 4-2 (Game 3 of 6)

Vancouver won 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, April 15th
Game 2: Saturday, April 17th
Game 3: Monday, April 19th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 21st
Game 5: Friday, April 23rd
Game 6: Sunday, April 25th

Kings 5


Coverage: NBCSN

10:00 PM ET, April 19, 2010

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

1 2 3 T
VAN 1 1 13
LA 1 3 15

J. Johnson (Kings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

D. Doughty (Kings - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 3

M. Handzus (Kings - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

Kings look to take 2-1 series lead vs. Canucks

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- If any playoff hockey fans deserve a little more for their money, it's the long-suffering Staples Center denizens who haven't witnessed a postseason game since 2002.

The Los Angeles Kings already have played two overtime games against the Vancouver Canucks, and nobody will be surprised if it takes more than 60 minutes to decide who takes control of this first-round series in Game 3.

The Kings will be back in black -- their all-black third jerseys -- when the Stanley Cup chase finally runs back through Hollywood on Monday night. The clubs split two gut-wrenching games in Vancouver, with Los Angeles losing the opener before overcoming an early two-goal deficit to take Game 2 and claim home-ice advantage.

"It's huge we had a split in the other team's city," said 21-year-old forward Wayne Simmonds, who looked right at home on the Kings' top line in Game 2. "[Now] we get to go home to our fans who haven't seen a playoff game in eight years. We are rewarding them."

The Kings' youth and inexperience were expected to be liabilities against veteran Vancouver, yet they've twice risen to the challenge of sudden-death playoff hockey. If the clubs keep up this overtime binge, Los Angeles' younger legs could even prove to be an asset.

The Canucks canceled their practice Sunday before flying down the Pacific coast, while the Kings held a late-afternoon skate at their El Segundo training complex. Coach Terry Murray wanted to keep his club's focus on work after an exhilarating overtime victory.

"When you have a win to tie a series, it's important to celebrate, enjoy, and then get back to work," said Murray, coaching in the postseason for the first time since 2000 with Florida. "You're going to fall behind, you're going to have adversity staring you in the face, and you've got to be able to get up and keep going."

Vancouver doesn't seem worried by its 19-20-2 road record during the regular season or its embarrassing 8-3 loss in its last trip to Los Angeles on April 1. The Canucks are more worried about avoiding penalties and amping up their penalty killing after the Kings scored four of their five goals in the first two games with a man advantage.

"We have to be a little more responsible out there," defenseman Sami Salo said Sunday before the Canucks' flight to Los Angeles. "We're taking too many penalties, and that's what is giving us trouble. You want to be intensive and finish your checks, but you have to be more disciplined.

"We're just giving them a little too much room and space and time, so we just have to try to take that away. Other than that, we did a fairly good job. They just got a couple of bounces, and that's how it is with hockey games."

Both teams claim to know exactly what they've got to do to shut down their opponents' best offensive weapon. NHL scoring champion Henrik Sedin has just two assists, suggesting the Kings have done well in their goal of forcing the Sedin twins and linemate Alex Burrows to play defense.

With the last change on home ice, Los Angeles plans to match Michal Handzus' line and defensemen Drew Doughty and Rob Scuderi against the Sedins and Burrows whenever possible.

Scuderi, who won the Stanley Cup last season with Pittsburgh, made a heady play during overtime in Game 2 by flipping the puck toward Vancouver's bench during a change. The puck hit a Canucks player and created a penalty for too many men on the ice, leading to the power play that resulted in the winning goal.

"I think we caught a break," said Scuderi, who had unsuccessfully tried that play several times earlier in his career. "For sure, there's not a whole lot of ice out there. There were only a few limited offensive opportunities, so you've got to try anything to create something for us."

The Kings also thrived after Murray made a high-risk change to his lineup for Game 2, scratching veteran forward Justin Williams and replacing him on the Kings' top line with Simmonds, the hardworking youngster whose energy boosted Los Angeles countless times during the season. Simmonds did it again in Vancouver, scoring the tying goal midway through the second period and generally agitating the Canucks.

Murray said he'll stick with the same line combinations in Game 3, relegating Williams -- who won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 -- to the press box for another game. Williams missed 28 games down the regular-season stretch with a broken leg, only returning last month.

"I can't make a change," Murray said. "I like what I saw. ... I want Justin Williams there. That line in the first half of the season was probably the best line in hockey, [but] it hasn't always been happening for Justin coming back from his injury."

Yet Vancouver also seems confident it can cause trouble for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, whose shakiness popped up again on a 35-foot goal in Game 2 by Mikael Samuelsson, who has three of the Canucks' five goals in the series. Quick settled down after that goal and shut out the Canucks for the final 57 1/2 minutes.

"He seems to be down quite a bit, and if we can get it up, we can get it by him," Vancouver defenseman Shane O'Brien said. "We've just got to put everything on net and get a few greasy ones and some garbage goals. We're in a series now. We've got to play with a little more desperation."