Published April 19, 2012
| Sports Network
Los Angeles, CA – Backed by the return of Daniel Sedin, the Vancouver Canucks staved off elimination with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Sedin had been out since March 21 after suffering a concussion, but his return was right on time as he posted an assist and three shots to help Vancouver avoid the sweep.
Kevin Bieksa, Alexander Edler and Henrik Sedin each posted a goal while Dan Hamhuis added two assist for the Canucks, who will look to keep the series going when Game 5 takes place in Vancouver on Sunday.
Cory Schneider, making his second straight start in pace of an ineffective Roberto Luongo, posted 43 saves in the win.
Anze Kopitar scored his first goal of the series for the Kings, who received 27 saves from Jonathan Quick in the loss.
"Actually I thought we played better than we did last game," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "The difference was 22 [Daniel Sedin] and 33's [Henrik Sedin] performance."
The Kings got the first goal of the game as Kopitar danced around Mason Raymond to get to the puck and from the right circle beat Schneider with a high wrister at the 13-minute mark of the first period.
The Canucks tied the game on the power play 4:07 into the second when Hamhuis sent a pass from the left point to the right and Edler's quick shot found its way through a screen set up by Ryan Kesler.
It was a 2-1 game at the 8:36 mark of the second. David Booth skated into the zone down the right side and pulled up at the mid-boards. He sent the puck back to the point, where Bieksa's shot hit off the stick of Mike Richards and went in.
LA nearly tied the game with just under seven minutes to play in the second when the puck crossed the line during a scrum in front, but the whistle had been blown just prior to that.
Dustin Brown, who had four goals in the first three games, was awarded a penalty shot at the 5:23 mark when he was tripped up on a shorthanded break by Bieksa. His chance, though, didn't bear fruit as he went to the fake, but Schneider stayed with him and made a left pad save.
"We're not a team that scores a lot and you have to score on your opportunities and we had a borderline whistle/ non-goal and we missed the penalty shot," said Sutter. "So we could be just standing here talking about a totally different thing right now."
Moments later, the Canucks grabbed an insurance goal on the same power play. Daniel Sedin sent a turnaround backhand pass from the slot to the right circle that saw Hamhuis blast a shot on net that was stopped, but the puck popped in the air to the left and Henrik Sedin swatted it in.
From there, Schneider shut the door as he stopped 13 shots to hold on for the win.
Vancouver avoided becoming the sixth team to get eliminated in the first round after winning the Presidents' Trophy...Vancouver was 2-for-3 on the power play...Los Angeles went 0-for-3 on the power play...The Kings haven't won a playoff series since 2001.