Canucks, Kings fight for lead as series returns to Vancouver

The Sports Network

4/23/2010 11:14:37 AM

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to regain the lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series tonight, when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 at General Motors Place.

The third-seeded Canucks won Game 4 by a 6-4 score to even this best-of-seven series at two games apiece. It was the Northwest Division champions first win since notching a 3-2 victory in the series opener at GM Place.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles will try to bounce back from a poor defensive effort tonight. The Kings had allowed a total of seven goals in the series before Vancouver exploded for six scores on Wednesday.

The Kings, who are in the postseason for the first time since 2002, held a 3-2 lead heading into the third period of Game 4, but Vancouver scored four times in the final 20 minutes to tie the series.

Henrik Sedin took a feed from his brother, Daniel, and scored the game-winning goal with 2:52 to play in Wednesday's game at Staples Center. Henrik Sedin also added an assist, while Daniel Sedin had three helpers for the Canucks.

"When I got it from Danny I saw someone going to the far side there, but I thought I needed to shoot this one," said Henrik. "If I would have passed it and they would have blocked it or something, I would have been pretty mad at myself."

Christian Ehrhoff tallied a goal and an assist, while Mikael Samuelsson lit the lamp and has now scored in every game in the series. With five goals in this set, Samuelsson has tied his career-best for most markers in an entire playoffs. He had five goals in both the 2008 and '09 postseasons for Detroit and played in 22 and 23 games, respectively, during those playoffs.

Ryan Kesler, Pavol Demitra and Sami Salo also scored for the Canucks, and Roberto Luongo made 22 saves on 26 shots for the Canucks. Luongo, who was pulled from Game 3, has not fared well in this series, posting dismal numbers in both goals against average (3.40) and save percentage (.871).

Dustin Brown and Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who have won seven of 10 series when tied after four games. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar both found the back of the net, and Alexander Frolov had a pair of assists.

Jonathan Quick allowed five goals on 36 shots in defeat.

"When you have a lead going into the third period, you've got to nail that thing down," Kings coach Terry Murray told his team's official site. "Keep playing hard, keep playing heavy and be physical on their players."

Vancouver was the best home team in the Western Conference this year, posting a 30-8-3 record at GM Place. However, the Kings showed the ability to win on the road during the regular season, going 24-14-3 as the guest.

The Kings and Canucks have met three times before in the postseason, with Los Angeles winning two of those series, but not since 1993, when Los Angeles was led by Wayne Gretzky.

Los Angeles lost three of four overall to Vancouver during the regular season, but did post an 8-3 home victory in the final meeting on April 1.

Game 6 of this series is scheduled for Sunday in Los Angeles.