As far as Brock Boeser is concerned, the Vancouver Canucks just didn’t have it in them on Tuesday night.
Dustin Brown scored 53 seconds into overtime to lift the Los Angeles Kings over the Canucks 2-1, even though Vancouver outshot the visitors 33-25.
“It was a tough first two periods, and we all knew that after the second, we weren’t making good passes and we weren’t helping the D out in the D zone,” said Boeser, who returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing 11 games with a lower-body injury. “Our compete wasn’t there, and they were out working us, out battling us.”
Alex Iafallo scored for the Kings (9-14-1) in regulation, sailing a slapshot past Jacob Markstrom midway through the second frame.
Markus Granlund tied the game for the Canucks (11-13-3) with under four minutes to go in the third. He said it was tough to break down the Kings.
“Obviously, they have a heavy team,” Granlund said. “I think we needed more speed and more legs to get more goals.”
Markstrom made 23 saves for the Canucks, while Calvin Petersen stopped 32 shots for the Kings.
Vancouver spent a lot of time in L.A.’s end in the third period, outshooting them 13-6.
But there weren’t a ton of “Grade-A” chances, Petersen said.
“The whole time it was our game to win, and I think it was just a matter of time, really,” said Petersen, who earned his fourth win of the season. “Obviously, when they get one that late in the game, it could be deflating, but I think we have been through too much as a team to let stuff like that continue to bother us. It showed in the overtime. We controlled the play and, luckily, we were rewarded.”
The 24-year-old’s calm demeanour in net has helped the Kings this year, Brown said.
“Even from a young guy, it has an effect on the team when you have a guy who doesn’t get flustered or, when a goal goes in, he just resets and goes,” said the right winger. “That’s a big part of (goalie Jonathan Quick’s) game, and Cal has a lot of that calmness in net that I think kind of helps our team not panic.”
Kings head coach Willie Desjardins felt Petersen helped set the tone early by making a couple of “outstanding” saves.
“For a young guy to come in and do that is pretty impressive,” he said.
The game also marked Desjardins’ first return to Rogers Arena. The former Canucks bench boss was fired at the end of the 2016-2017 campaign. He took over as the Kings’ head coach after the club turfed John Stevens earlier in November.
Desjardins received a mix of cheers and jeers from the crowd as his face was flashed on the big screen before the game.
Playing in Vancouver has always meant something a little different to the coach.
“Whenever you come back in here, there’s lots of good guys in that room over there and I know that,” he said. “And I know they hate to lose as well but I certainly enjoyed a win.”
Despite the loss, Markstrom thinks the Canucks are doing well in their own zone and creating plays in their opponents’ end.
“We’re playing tighter in front of our net and we’re letting their shots come from the outside so we’re doing a good job,” the goalie said. “We’re creating a lot of scoring chances as well, even though we haven’t scored as many goals as we could have … so goals are going to come.”
Vancouver continues its five-game homestand on Thursday, hosting the Vegas Golden Knights.