I think it's a goal.

Game in a Sentence

The L.A Kings put the special in special teams in game two as a couple shorthanded tallies from Dustin Brown and a power play marker from Jarrett Stoll provided the offense they needed to take a 2-0 series lead.

Observations

- One of the interesting developments of this Kings team here early in the postseason is thus far there has been one player to set the tone for each game they have played. In game one it was Mike Richards mixing it up, creating chances and maintaining the pace for roster. In game two it was Dustin Brown who was stellar both at even strength and on special teams as he potted a pair of shorthanded goals.

- Simply put, the Canucks have seemed to lack the energy required to match the Kings’ work ethic over the course of a full 60 minutes. They’ll show glimpses of their regular season form, but have not been able to string together multiple shifts like that against the high motor Kings very often thus far in the series. I doubt that a trip to California will do much to change that.

- In my opinion, Roberto Luongo has absolutely been the best Canucks player on the ice since the outset of this series. He has made several key stops to keep the Kings within the grasp of the home team and should have answered most of his critics to this point in the postseason. However, the defensive effort levels have been poor and as such there are the always expected calls for Cory Schneider to take over. I hope it doesn’t happen because I don’t feel it is deserved but Vigneault was very tight lipped about his crease after the game.

- If neither Schneider nor Luongo want to play net for the rest of this series, the Canucks can look to Chris Tanev to strap on the pads as he allegedly made a great stop on Brown here even though the puck is clearly in the net. So yeah, no save.

- I got the sense heading into the postseason that this Kings team was one of those “built for the playoffs” type of squads given that they can match skill with three of their lines but aren’t afraid to grind you down either. So far they have shown their versatility. They have gone toe-to-toe with the Canucks multiple times between and after the whistle and have shown that they can skate, pass and shoot with one of the most talented teams in the league.

- Jonathan Quick continues to be exceptional with another 40+ save night in game two. I’m not going to say he’s stealing the series for LA because I believe that they’ve been outplaying Vancouver in all three zones but the landscape would be very different without him in there.

- Ryan Kesler was improved on his performance from game one but still didn’t have the consistency I wanted to see from shift to shift. Like I said in my game one wrap, this guy has the ability to flat out dominate like he did in the 2010 Olympics. I want to see that intensity and focus each shift and the Canucks could really use it.

- Zack Kassian only played six minutes for the Canucks. I would really like to see Alain Vigneault use him a bit more and let him off the leash. Let him play the role Raffi Torres occupied one year ago. He can be the high energy crashing body.

- Dustin Penner looks an awful lot like the Dustin Penner we saw during the Anaheim Ducks run to the Cup. I’m not saying that he’s the same calibre of player he was that season, but Penner entered the playoffs as a potential make or break guy for LA and as things stand he is making things much easier for them.

- Really enjoying Willie Mitchell’s performance thus far in the series. He had a great run in Vancouver and I’m sure it would mean a lot to him to be able to put the Canucks out in round one. Even if a player leaves relatively amiably they still want to beat their old team and Mitchell looks very much in the zone right now. He has taken some penalties but he’s a type of guy that you want to see get physically involved regardless. Penalties aren’t necessarily a bad sign for him.

- I’m not saying Daniel Sedin’s presence would have made this series any different than it currently is, but his absence has clearly affected Henrik’s trust in his linemates. He appears to be trying way too much on his own as opposed to trusting the guys with him and making the smart plays. As a result his turnover numbers are uncharacteristically high. Henrik had five giveaways in game two, most of any player on either team.

- The Boston Bruins did it last year and we all know what the Flyers did to the Bruins a year before so we know it’s possible to win from a deficit. That being said, before you can win four you need to win one. Game three in LA could very well decide whether or not the Kings pull off a huge upset or whether the Canucks can claw back into this thing.

My Three Stars:

1) Dustin Brown
2) Jonathan Quick
3) Anze Kopitar