VANCOUVER – Jared McCann scored the winner in the second period and Ryan Miller made 40 saves Monday as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.
Emerson Etem and Jannik Hansen also scored for the Canucks as Vancouver (30-36-13) won a third game in a row for the first time this season after failing on eight previous attempts.
Tyler Toffoli and Kyle Clifford replied for Los Angeles (46-28-5), which dropped a fifth straight game on the road in regulation and fell to 2-6-0 over its last eight.
Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots for the Kings, who remain a point back of the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division and have three games left on their schedule. The Ducks play four more times, including a massive game in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Vancouver, meanwhile, has three games remaining as the club limps to the finish line of a lost season, but now owns victories over the San Jose Sharks, Ducks and Kings in a five-day stretch.
The Canucks led 3-2 after two periods, and the Kings pushed hard in the third, including a scramble near the midway point where Miller had to pounce on a loose puck that rattled off the glass and tumbled in front.
The Vancouver goalie then made another great stop on a Toffoli redirect before defenceman Christopher Tanev had a key block and Miller made two more excellent stops.
The Canucks, who had lost five in a row at home in regulation, killed off a late penalty to Nikita Tryamkin as Miller held the fort in a barrage that included 20 shots in the third.
Tied 1-1 after the first period, Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin had great chances to put the Canucks ahead early in the second, but it was the Kings who grabbed a 2-1 edge at 9:15 when Clifford tipped home his third of the season on a 2-on-1 rush with Andy Andreoff.
Vancouver got that one back with 4:38 left in the period on the power play when Hansen ripped his 21st of the season on a nice cross-ice feed from Henrik Sedin.
The Canucks then took their first lead of the night with 32.4 seconds left in the second when McCann raced in on a breakaway and beat Quick with a nice move after intercepting a weak pass from Kings captain Dustin Brown in the Vancouver zone on a sequence that also saw Los Angeles defenceman Brayden McNabb fall down.
The goal was the rookie’s ninth of the season, but first in 10 games and second in the his last 36.
The Kings opened the scoring exactly six minutes into the first. Miller was unable to corral Jeff Carter’s shot from the corner and the puck spilled into the crease where Toffoli swept home his 30th.
Toffoli had a great chance on a short-handed breakaway with about four minutes left in the period, but Miller made a nice save on his backhand deke.
That left the door open for the Canucks and they struck with just 13 seconds left on the clock when Derek Dorsett’s shot hit Etem in front and beat Quick for his fifth.
Notes: Dorsett returned to the lineup after missing nine of the last 10 games with an upper-body injury. … Rookie forward Jake Virtanen suited up for Vancouver after serving a two-game suspension for a late, blindside hit on San Jose’s Roman Polak.