Kings hand Canucks first loss in eight games under Boudreau


LOS ANGELES — The Vancouver Canucks lost for the first time under coach Bruce Boudreau, 2-1 in a shootout to the Los Angeles Kings at Arena on Thursday.

Vancouver is 7-0-1 since Boudreau was hired to replace Travis Green on Dec. 5. The seven straight wins were tied for the longest streak in NHL history by a coach starting his tenure with a new team (Jacques Lemaire with the New Jersey Devils in 1993-94; Geoff Ward with the Calgary Flames in 2019-20).

“[The Kings] played good, but our effort wasn’t very good, and when you have six shot attempts (in the second period) and there was no scoring chances, you know you didn’t play well,” Boudreau said. “We were horrible.” 

Brendan Lemieux scored, and Jonathan Quick made 17 saves for the Kings (15-12-5), who are 5-2-1 in their past eight games. Viktor Arvidsson scored the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout.

“We talk about winning games 2-1, 3-2, low-scoring grinding games. Being that team that’s hard to play against defensively, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight,” Lemieux said. “I thought tonight we even deserved more, but sometimes that’s not the way it works.”

Video: VAN@LAK: Arvidsson and Quick combine to win shootout

Bo Horvat scored, and Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves for the Canucks (15-15-3), who were coming off a 2-1 overtime win at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

“Just didn’t find our legs for a while there, but we fought back in the third and got a point out of it,” Vancouver forward Conor Garland said. 

Lemieux gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead at 7:39 of the second period. After an aggressive forecheck by Blake Lizotte forced Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn into a turnover, Christian Wolanin got the puck at the left point for a shot that was redirected in by Lemieux.

“I know ‘Lizzo’ and I try to make that a staple of our game, being a really aggressive forechecking line,” Lemieux said. “Spending time in the D-zone, making it really hard for them to break out, so that we can create offense but also so that we can create momentum for the next line and hand off a good shift. And I think we did a pretty good job of that. … From top to bottom, I think every line had their shifts and their pressure, and that’s why that game seemed where we had them on their heels for most of it.” 

Lemieux had the chance to extend the lead 57 seconds into the third period, but his attempt five-hole on his first NHL penalty shot was saved by Halak.

“It was a long shift, and to get it then … yeah, wasn’t my best,” Lemieux said.

Horvat tied it 1-1 at 12:06 of the third. He redirected in a backdoor pass from a diving J.T. Miller on the power play.

“I was just trying to find open ice and get to the net when I saw J.T.,” Horvat said. “Obviously, it was good to get that one and good to get a point, but we’ve got to be better in the future.”

Video: VAN@LAK: Horvat puts home brilliant pass for a PPG

Horvat then had an opportunity to win it for Vancouver at 2:14 of overtime, but his attempt on a breakaway was stopped by Quick.

“You know, we let them back in but stuck with it and did it the hard way. And maybe that’s good for our team right now,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said.

NOTES: Miller has scored 12 points (three goals, nine assists) on an eight-game point streak. He has at least one assist in each game during that streak. … Arvidsson entered 0-for-4 in shootout attempts in his NHL career. … Horvat has scored four goals in his past four games. … Vancouver has scored 12 goals in Halak’s seven starts this season.

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