LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jeff Carter scored Los Angeles’ first power-play goal of the season and added the only score in the shootout, leading the Kings to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.
Defenseman Slava Voynov tied it with 43.2 seconds left in regulation for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have won two straight after an 0-2-1 start. Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots for the Kings, including all three Vancouver attempts in the shootout.
Roberto Luongo made 26 saves for Vancouver, which went 1-1-1 on a three-game California road trip. Zack Kassian scored his fourth goal of the season, and Alex Burrows also scored in a rematch of the clubs’ stunning playoff series last spring.
Luongo was sharp in his second start since losing his job to Cory Schneider, and Los Angeles struggled offensively through 59 frustrating minutes until pulling Quick for an extra attacker. Voynov teed up a shot from the point that found a hole in heavy traffic, wobbling past Luongo for the Russian defenseman’s first goal of the season.
After a scoreless overtime, Quick easily stopped Burrows, Alexander Edler and Kassian, while Carter beat Luongo in the third shootout round.
The clubs hadn’t met since the eighth-seeded Kings eliminated the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks in five games before romping through the next three rounds to the title.
Although Los Angeles handily won the clubs’ playoff series last spring, a 111-point Vancouver team arguably gave the Kings their toughest test during their 16-4 rampage through the postseason. The Kings persevered through several tight games against Vancouver, capped by an overtime victory in the Game 5 clincher.
The Kings got off to a slow start after winning their franchise’s first title, getting blown out by Chicago in their banner-raising season opener before winning once on a three-game road trip. Los Angeles finally returned home to face the Canucks, who made their second appearance in Southern California already this season after routing Anaheim last week.
Los Angeles started slowly against Luongo, and Vancouver already had a 2-0 lead when the Kings ended their 0-for-25 start on the power play this season.
Kassian scored late in the first period when Quick allowed a rebound of Edler’s long shot from the point out of a faceoff, easily knocking home his fourth goal in six games to start the season. Burrows then doubled the Canucks’ lead early in the second period when he came from behind the net and sneaked the puck between the post and Quick’s skate.
The Kings finally ended their man-advantage drought when Carter scored out of a faceoff just 7 seconds after Chris Tanev went off for high-sticking.
NOTES: Kings F Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. Coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t pleased with the two-time Stanley Cup champion’s early efforts. ... Canucks C Manny Malhotra returned to the lineup after missing two games following the birth of his son. Andrew Ebbett was scratched. ... Kings captain Dustin Brown played in his 600th NHL game, all with Los Angeles ... The Kings welcomed their 25 millionth fan to Staples Center, presenting season tickets and a wealth of merchandise to 21-year-old Dustin Kramer of Torrance, Calif.