Kings crimp Canucks style, vanquish Vancouver

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, center, from Yugoslavia, celebrates scoring a goal with Kings right wing Justin Williams, right, and Kings center Mike Richards during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

Los Angeles Kings right wing Trent Hunter, left, congratulates Kings goalie Jonathan Quick after they defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-1, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)Game 39: Kings 4, Canucks 1

To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today's Hockeywood Dailies.

• AP: Kings beat Canucks 4-1 to open homestand
Anze Kopitar ended a career-worst, 17-game goal drought less than five minutes after defenseman Matt Greene’s go-ahead goal in the second period, and the Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 Saturday night in the NHL’s final game of 2011.
• LA Times: Anze Kopitar's goal breaks drought
The Kings' overall effort was exemplary, played with the quickness and aggressiveness Sutter has been preaching.
• The Key Three: Dec. 31
Before Saturday, the Kings had allowed the first goal in 20 games, and they had gone on to win only five of those games in regulation. Not great odds. The Kings, though, didn’t fold.
• Kings keep climbing with 4-1 throttling of Vancouver
That they played a 60-minute game against one of the premier NHL teams wasn't lost on the Kings. Vancouver, which was attempting to tie the franchise record with 11 wins in a month, suffered only its third regulation loss in 14 contests.
• ProHockeyTalk: Sutter says Kings power play is “awesome”
“…I know, if I’m watching upstairs or I’m covering, I’m saying, `Oh, the power play,’ because it’s 14 percent or whatever, but you have to give them — especially the young players on the power play — you have to give them the ability to use their ability.”
• Vancouver Sun: Canucks play like they're California dreaming in 4-1 loss to Kings
After wins against the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, the Canucks looked like a team that figured all it had to do was show up to get its California sweep with a win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings had other ideas.
• The Province: Foggy play clouds Canucks in loss to Kings
Acting like the puck was a live hand grenade, the Canucks repeatedly coughed it up to L.A. either by trying to be too fancy on the stickhandle or with lazy and ill-advised passes.
Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings and Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks get their sticks crossed after the play in the first period during the NHL game at Staples Center on December 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)They said it
“It says we have a lot of character, and we can definitely do it. Now it’s just a matter of doing it night in and night out. That’s what Darryl is pushing for us, and we have to recognize it and build on this win and get going.’’ – Anze Kopitar, on what is says, to beat Vancouver.
“Maybe you guys would make a big deal out of it, but he’s been doing everything for us. He hasn’t been scoring, but he still logs 20-some minutes of ice. He plays well. He does everything. He’s on the ice in every situation. If you ask the guys in here if his play has dipped at all, I don’t think so. He’s just not finding the back of the net, and for him to do that, that’s great, but he’s been our best player throughout the whole year.’’ – Matt Greene, on Kopitar getting the scoring monkey off his back
“What's that line – the greatest loss you can have is a loss of confidence. If everybody was struggling with confidence, it's not my job to pile dirt on them. It's to take them out of it. It doesn't mean you're always going to win, but as long as they're going in the right direction, that's a good thing.’’ – Darryl Sutter, talking about the Kings' confidence.
“Under Terry Murray, there was hard checking, and they’ve got some Ds who can jump up on the attacks and Ds that can pinch. They pretty much played the same way tonight as all of our games against them. All of our games against L.A. have always been hard-fought. They are a very good hockey team. People had said, prior to this season, that they are one of the best teams in the NHL, and they played real well tonight.’’ – Coach Alain Vigneault, on the Kings’ coaching change
“You know what, I’m pretty tired of that question. We won the President’s Trophy last year. We went to the seventh game of the Finals. We didn’t lose the final because we were pushed around; we lost because we couldn’t score. We are as tough as anyone else here. We are taking hits, we are giving out hits, and that’s the bottom line.’’ – Henrik Sedin, on whether the Canucks got “pushed around.’’

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