VANCOUVER – Maybe it was because they made the extra pass or hesitated a split-second before pulling the trigger on a likely scoring chance.
Or maybe it was because sniper Alex Burrows was siphoned off their line to kill the six power plays the Vancouver Canucks faced in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
But NHL scoring champion Henrik Sedin and twin brother Daniel were blanked in Saturday’s second game of the clubs’ first-round playoff series despite having more time and space to display their talents.
“There was more ice than there was last game,” said Henrik who had who had two shots on goal while Daniel had four. “It was just that we couldn’t finish our chances.”
The shutdown came after the Swedish stars combined for a goal and three assists in Vancouver’s 3-2 Game 1 win, also in overtime.
And the Kings will have the last line change against them when the best-of-seven series resumes Monday and Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Although Vancouver jumped to a 2-0 lead, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick didn’t find many Canucks crashing his crease as he won his first career playoff game.
“We made the extra play and we didn’t get bodies in front of him,” Henrik Sedin said. “I don’t know if it was because we were up 2-0 after two fairly easy ones at the start.”
A typical play came late in the third period when the Sedins broke over the Kings’ blue-line with only sophomore defenceman Drew Doughty between them.
Daniel tried to feed his brother for the go-ahead goal but Doughty got his stick in the way as the Canucks were limited to five third-period shots.
“Danny did everything right,” Henrik said of the two-on-one break.
“The goalie was down, he faked the shot and he was trying to put it over (Doughty’s) stick but bad ice … he just couldn’t get the puck to lift.”
Doughty, who played nearly 33 minutes, said containing the Sedins was a key to the win, especially after plays that led to Daniel’s goal in the first game.
It started with a Daniel spin move in the Vancouver zone and an outlet pass to Henrik at the Canuck blue-line. Daniel took a return pass as he broke in on Quick and beat him with a slick backhand shot.
“We have to keep them off the scoresheet every night,” Doughty said. “They are two of the most dominant players in the league and especially this series.
“We are doing everything we can to match up lines.”
Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said the Sedins got extra attention at a team meeting before the game.
“They probably are the best line in the league. We have to have great awareness. We tried very hard to get a match-up, changed on the fly a few times to get the (defence) matched up.
“You’re not going to totally eliminate their scoring opportunities, they’re too good. But you’ve got to try to eliminate the number of quality chances and I thought tonight, whenever they had their scoring chances, Quick was right there for us.”