The Vancouver Canucks may feel like they proved to the National Hockey League that they won’t be pushed around. But they still lost, missing out on two points against a divisional opponent.
The Canucks lost 1-0 to the L.A. Kings on Monday, in a testy, chippy, sometimes dirty meeting – as someone wise seemed to predict earlier in the day when setting up this match-up – of two Pacific Division rivals that have clearly grown to dislike each other.
The two teams combined for 109 penalty minutes, including a pair of fights, plenty of rough stuff during play and after whistles, too.
And then there were the missed calls, like Dale Weise’s blatant slew foot on Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty in the neutral zone during the second period. It went undetected by officials. Doughty was slow to get up but remained in the game.
Dustin Brown, the central focus of the Canucks’ hostilities for a collision between him and Vancouver’s No. 1 puck stopper Roberto Luongo nine days ago, fought his U.S. Olympic teammate Ryan Kesler at the drop of the puck in the second period.
Brown scored the lone goal of tonight’s game, 24 seconds into the third period.
Tom Sestito, who had been promoted to Vancouver’s third line as he worked to improve his game over the course of the season, was ejected less than three minutes into the first period, after just one second of ice time.
The angst began immediately as soon as the puck was dropped, when Canucks’ forward Zack Kassian began jousting with Brown, eventually taking a penalty for hooking the Kings’ captain to the ice.