Roberto Luongo superb, rest of team looks lacklustre against Kings

When Roberto Luongo came to Vancouver from the Florida Panthers in 2006, he probably thought he was finally escaping a team that couldn't score.

The Canucks had some firepower; all they needed at that time was a goalie who could win them some games.

The Sedin twins were emerging as major stars. Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, and Taylor Pyatt could all put the puck in the net.

Trevor Linden was no slouch and defencemen Sami Salo, Mattias Ohlund, and Kevin Bieksa could all be counted on to chip in some goals.

But nearly eight years later, Luongo once again finds himself backstopping a team that has trouble scoring on many nights.

In 12 of the team's 13 losses this year, the Canucks have only scored a single goal.

That occurred again last night in Los Angeles when the Canucks goalie was peppered with 48 shots and the occasional burly King running through his crease.

Luongo was spectacular in his first game back after suffering a lower-body injury on December 22.

He only allowed goals by Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter in the third period, recording a .958 percent save percentage.

But those goals were all the Kings needed because the Canucks could only muster a single goal on a power play in the first period.

It was Ryan Kesler's first goal in 11 games.

The Canucks power play has been a disaster this year, ranking last in the league until Kesler scored. And eight teams in the Western Conference have more goals scored than them.

The Canucks then went to sleep midway through the second period until near the end of the game, allowing themselves to be outshot 27 to 4 over this time.

Carter's empty-netter made the final score 3-1, keeping the Kings in third place in the Pacific Division, three points ahead of Vancouver.

Tonight, Vancouver plays an even tougher opponent, the division-leading Anaheim Ducks, who've won 12 of their last 13 matches.

Luongo is expected to get the night off after last night's tough loss. He deserves it.

Canucks fans are hoping that his teammates also don't decide to take another night off.

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James Blatchford
Agree....even comical at times. Kassian behind the net...whiffed on two pucks in succession. Looked like rec hockey. Higgans...love the guy, but he was brutal in LA. Hamhuis fought the puck too. I believe the Staple ice is notoriously bad, but there are two teams on the ice and players must adjust. That said, we can beat the Ducks tonite...no problem bouncing back.
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