Kings after one: Vancouver 2, Kings 1
The Canucks scored first, which wasn’t necessarily a terrible omen because the team that scored the first goal in the first four games ended up losing. However, they scored again before the period ended, sandwiching a 19-foot wrist shot by Alex Edler around a power-play goal by the Kings to build a 2-1 lead in a hard-hitting first period that was marked by lots of jabs and punches to the back of the head and scrums after whistles.
Steve Bernier scored his second goal of the series to ignite the GM Place crowd at 9:50. Kyle Wellwood took a shot that went wide, but Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell missed on a clearing attempt and Bernier scored on a short wrist shot.
The Kings tied the score with their 10th power-play goal in 17 chances. Edler was sent off for holding Ryan Smyth at 12:42 and the Kings got off a couple of shots that were stopped by Roberto Luongo before Michal Handzus controlled the puck behind the net and tried to throw it in front. He got a lucky break when it caromed off Vancouver defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and past Luongo at 14:24.
The Canucks regained the lead at 17:32. Edler and Jannik Hansen did a pretty good imitation of the instinctive connection shared by twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin, throwing the puck back and forth and getting a free path when Randy Jones peeled off toward the net. Edler was the triggerman, beating Jonathan Quick to the short side at 17:32.
Vancouver had a 12-8 edge in shots in the period.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
Helene Elliott, reporting from Vancouver, Canada
Photo: Vancouver's Alex Burrows hits the ice in front of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick during play in the first period Friday night. Credit: Jonathan Hayward / Associated Press