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NHL Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Kings Fall to NHL-Best Vancouver Canucks

"Conference at Center Ice" via Flickr's John Bollwitt

The Los Angeles Kings lost 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks, who secured the President’s Trophy for the NHL team with the most points in the regular season.

The win gives Vancouver 113 points, currently a franchise record.

Thought the Canucks controlled the game early, the Kings actually took the first lead of the game.

After a giveaway by Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Drew Doughty tried to get the puck on goal, but his effort was turned away. However, it went right to Kyle Clifford who hit a wrist shot past goalie Roberto Luongo. Doughty and Brad Richardson got the assists.

L.A. took the 1-0 lead to the dressing room after the opening frame, but the Canucks scored three unanswered goals over the second and third periods.

The first two were even-strength tallies in the middle frame.

A turnover led to Daniel Sedin’s 41st goal of the season, good for his NHL-leading 100th point.

With 0.9 seconds left in the period, Christian Ehrhoff scored on an odd-man rush.

The third period featured a couple of similar-looking hairy moments, one of which led to Vancouver’s final goal.

First, two Canucks seemed to gain up on Michal Handzus, driving him hard into the boards to the back and right of the Vancouver net. (Aaron Rome, who had gotten a boarding penalty for an earlier check on Alexei Ponikarovsky, was “credited” with the hit.)

Handzus remained down for several moments but was relatively unhurt and no penalties were handed out.

More than two minutes later, a hit by Clifford sent Christopher Tanev into the same area of the boards.

Clifford was hit with a major penalty for checking from behind, giving the Canucks up to five minutes on the power play.

During his penalty, Matt Greene was given a cross-checking minor.

Ryan Kesler scored on the resulting 5-on-3 advantage.

The Kings did not take any shots in the closing frame, only the fifth time in franchise history L.A. shot the puck zero times in a period.

Luongo got his league-leading 37th win of the season, making 18 saves.

Quick made 32 saves in the loss.

The Kings remain in fifth place with 94 points.

They have five regular-season games left, all to be played in California and all against Pacific Division opponents.

L.A. will kick off the critical homestretch Saturday at 1 p.m. PT when they take on the Dallas Stars at the Staples Center.

This article also appears on The Royal Puck on the Aerys Sportsnetwork, as well as Sports Haze L.A. (link to be added).

Twitter: @daniparenteau & @RantSports

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