Sports

Kings host Canucks in Pacific showdown

(SportsNetwork.com) - Held to just a point last time out, the Los Angeles Kings will look to secure a big two points on Saturday afternoon when they take on the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

The Kings had won three of four ahead of Wednesday's meeting with the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks and Jeff Carter's 25th goal of the season was the only one tallied by the two teams through 40 minutes.

However, the Ducks scored twice in the first 7:35 of the third period to take the lead before Justin Williams forced overtime on a goal with 4:14 to go in regulation. Anaheim then secured the 3-2 victory 45 seconds into overtime when Ryan Kesler circled from behind the net to the right circle before wristing a shot past Jonathan Quick.

Quick made 23 saves and Anze Kopitar notched the 599th point of his career with an assist for the Kings, who are 5-1-2 in their past eight games.

"They're obviously a good third-period team," said Williams. "When they get down a goal, they press and it's a full-blown attack. We're not an old team. We're certainly a veteran team. We've experienced a lot so we need to find ways to rectify losing these third-period leads and I know we will."

The point gained has allowed the Kings to stay within two points of the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference and also just one point behind the Calgary Flames for third place in the Pacific Division.

The Kings do have a game in hand over the Jets and Flames. Winnipeg hosts the Washington Capitals on Saturday, while Calgary welcomes the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Canucks, meanwhile, own just a one-point edge over the Flames for second place in the division and are coming off a disappointing 6-2 setback to the Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin scored 40 seconds apart in the second period, with Sedin tallying 3:40 into the second frame to give the Canucks a 2-0 edge, but the Blue Jackets scored three times before the period's end and tacked on three more in the third.

"I thought after it went 2-0, our (defense) started to get involved and we started to gamble a little bit when we had no reason to gamble at that point of the game," said Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins.

Eddie Lack stopped 25-of-30 shots before being removed in favor of Jacob Markstrom midway through the third period. Markstrom stopped both shots he faced for a Vancouver club that had won four of five coming in.

Vancouver wraps a quick two-game swing on Sunday in Arizona and has been outscored 7-2 in losing its first two meetings with the Kings this season.

Los Angeles has won three straight and seven of the last eight encounters overall as well as four in a row as the host.