VANCOUVER – The Los Angeles Kings got the start they wanted against the Vancouver Canucks.
Their finish was pretty good too.
The Kings peppered goalie Roberto Luongo early in the first period and scored a couple of shootout goals to earn a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
“We certainly had the start we wanted,” said Justin Williams who gave the Kings a 2-1 second-period lead and got the initial shootout goal.
“We got the first goal, we played with the lead and I thought we were due in the shootout so we finally got one there.”
Williams scored just his ninth goal of the season, but the third in his last five games.
Both clubs were coming off lacklustre efforts on Sunday.
The Kings dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Oilers in Edmonton while the sluggish Canucks fell 4-2 to the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
“You’re only as good as your last game and we needed to come back with a little bit of snarl,” said Williams, who scooped Willie Mitchell’s power-play rebound under the crossbar to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.
“We needed to have that mentality … we lost the last game and we had to come out and push.”
The Canucks didn’t have that early push, getting outshot 11-3 when big-bodied Dustin Penner tipped Drew Doughty’s point shot behind Luongo at 9:06 of the first period.
Daniel Sedin got his 20th goal for the seventh straight season and eighth time in his career for the Canucks.
David Booth, with his first goal since a knee injury cost him 18 games, forced overtime by tapping in Jannick Hansen’s centring pass five minutes into the third period.
Los Angeles (23-15-9) consolidated its hold on a Western Conference playoff berth while the Canucks (28-15-4) lost their third time in five games and second straight at home.
Vancouver also missed a chance to grab a share of the conference lead with Detroit.
The Kings, who haven’t defeated Vancouver in regulation time in their last seven games at Rogers Arena, improved to 8-1-5 under coach Darryl Sutter.
“He preaches being aggressive all over the ice and I think when we do that we get more turnovers,” Mike Richards who got the deciding goal in the shootout, said of Sutter.
“If we can be a little bit better off the rush and make some more plays, as long as we’re not giving things up defensively, I think we can be better.”
In the shootout, Williams beat Luongo on his stick side while Richards, the fourth shooter, fired over his glove.
Kings netminder Jonathan Quick gave up a shootout goal to Alex Burrows but ended a string of three straight losses in the tiebreaker.
Both goalies sparkled as the Kings outshot the Canucks 41-33.
Luongo seemed mesmerized by Richards’ deciding goal in the shootout.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Luongo said. “He came in quick, (then) he slowed down (and) snapped it high glove. It’s a pretty good play.”
He was philosophical about the numerous odd-man rushes manufactured by the Kings.
“Sometimes that’s going to happen and it’s up to me to make some saves and try and keep the guys in it,” Luongo said.
“Obviously we don’t want to start our games like that, that goes without saying.”
Henrik Sedin said the Canucks executed poorly against a team that hadn’t lost in regulation when leading after two periods since April 2, 2009.
“I think we had our legs,” Sedin said. “We gave up two-on-ones, three-on-twos and breakaways because we didn’t make the right reads. It’s on the forwards and on the (defencemen).”
Canuck coach Alain Vigneault, whose charges said he was vocal in the dressing room after the first period, agreed.
“They are a good team, they made us work real hard for every inch and (there was) obviously one team on the ice and one goaltender,” Vigneault said.
“The team was theirs and the goaltender was mine.”
Notes: The physical Andrew Alberts drew back in on the Vancouver blue-line while Alex Sulzer was a healthy scratch … it was Quick’s third start in four nights and 12th in 14 games under his new coach … the Canucks have the NHL’s best power play but are the only club to rank in the top five in power play and penalty kill … the Kings were 35-17-5 last season when ex-Canuck Mitchell was in the lineup.