Korpisalo gets 1st shutout as Kings beat Canucks to end skid
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joonas Korpisalo stopped 20 shots for his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Monday night to stop a three-game losing streak.
“I felt pretty good, and the guys let me see the puck, and my job is to take care of the rest,” Korpisalo said.
Arthur Kaliyev, Vladislav Gavrikov and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who tied their record for home wins in a season by matching the 26 they had in 1990-91, 2005-06 and 2015-16.
“We were tight defensively,” said center Phillip Danault, who had an assist. “It’s the right time of the year, that’s for sure. We want to keep building, obviously.”
Collin Delia made 25 saves for the Canucks, who have lost five of seven.
“Just the goals didn’t come tonight,” Vancouver forward Sheldon Dries said. “Give their goalie credit, he played well. … There’s energy to go around. We just got to find a way to capitalize.”
There were more fights (2) than goals (1) through the feisty but low-event opening two periods. Kaliyev was able to break the scoreless deadlock with 4:47 left in the second, beating Delia between his legs from the top of the crease for his 13th goal.
“Arthur has that knack of finding a bouncing puck and being able to bat it in,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.
Gavrikov doubled the lead 4:03 into the third, burying a wrist shot from the slot after Trevor Moore found him joining in off the rush, and Doughty added an empty-netter with 1:37 remaining.
“I don't think we gave them a lot until the end," Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “And this is what LA's good at. They're comfortable playing 0-0, 1-0. That's one of their fortes. We have to get to that level, we can't get antsy.”
It was a vital result for the Kings, who came into April with hopes of winning their second division title but now need help to hold onto third place in the Pacific Division.
Seattle, which won 4-1 at Arizona on Monday, is two points behind Los Angeles for that spot with a game in hand and holds the potential tiebreaker with more regulation wins.
The Kings could benefit from the race for the best record in the Western Conference, as leader Vegas has incentive to keep earning points in a home-and-home with the Kraken to wrap up the season.
Kings D Mikey Anderson returned after missing five games because of a suspected head injury. He played 23:32, second only to Doughty, and had a plus-1 rating.
“He defends so well,” McLellan said of Anderson. “Cleans up a lot of mistakes from teammates and brings a physical edge, so he had a big, big part of it, but the rest of the group played pretty well defensively as well.”
GOOD TUNE UP
McLellan believes his group benefitted from the abrasive nature of the game as it prepares for the playoffs, something likely to continue in the final Freeway Faceoff rivalry game against the Ducks on Thursday.
“From the minute the puck dropped ’til the end, it was competitive,” McLellan said. “I liked to see that all our lines were engaged. We didn’t really have any tagalongs, if you will.”
NOTES: Kaliyev set a new career-high with 28 points. He had 14 goals and 13 assists last season. ... Doughty has 50 points for the fourth time in his career. He joins Rob Blake and Steve Duchesne as the only Kings defensemen with four 50-point seasons.
Canucks: Play at Anaheim on Tuesday night.
Kings: Close out the regular season at Anaheim on Thursday night. ___