Kings defeat Canucks in shootout


VANCOUVER — Anze Kopitar and Jack Johnson scored shootout goals Saturday night as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in the NHL season-opener for both clubs.

Kopitar deked and beat Canuck netminder Roberto Luongo on the backhand before Johnson scored with a shot to the stick side.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made Mason Raymond miss and blocked Ryan Kesler’s shot.

Luongo was solid with six saves as the Canucks had to kill a 4-on-3 power play in overtime.

He was particularly sharp as Kings sniper Kopitar and Drew Doughty fired from the face-off circles. One puck hit Canuck defender Dan Hamhuis and glanced off the post.

The teams forged a 1-1 regulation tie by converting power-play chances.

Justin Williams evened the score for the Kings with 4:05 remaining in the third period when he backhanded a loose puck behind Luongo.

The Vancouver goalie got a glove on a shot by Michal Handzus while Ryan Kesler was serving an interference penalty but failed to control the puck, leaving the shot open for Williams.

Christian Ehrhoff, who led Vancouver defencemen with 14 goals last season, gave Vancouver a second-period lead, shovelling a puck behind Quick.

The game opened the Canucks’ 40th season in the league and the teams played in 1970s uniforms.

Los Angeles, the youngest club in the league with an average age of 25.4, wore purple and gold while the Canucks’ livery had the stick-in-the-rink stylized C on the front.

Most members of the 1970-71 Canuck team were introduced in pre-game ceremonies that included the naming of Henrik Sedin as the club’s 13th captain.

The scoreless first period produced little in quality scoring chances but Handzus hit the post with the Canucks scrambling after a Mikael Samuelsson giveaway.

Ehrhoff combined with Daniel and Henrik Sedin midway through the second period with Kings Alexei Ponikarovsky serving a slashing minor.

His goal opened up the game as Luongo stuck out a pad to block a backhand by rookie Brayden Schenn and Quick denied Mason Raymond.

Kesler had a wide-open top of the net from in close but his backhand hit the crossbar.

Kopitar, who had a 34 goals and 81 points last season, missed part of the second period when he was caught by Manny Malhotra’s stick trying to check the Canuck in the corner.

NOTES: The Canucks eliminated the Kings in a six-game first round of last spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs … Los Angeles was the Canucks’ first opponent when Vancouver entered the NHL 40 years ago. The Kings won 3-1 … Tom Larscheid, a former B.C. Lions football player who was the Canucks radio colour man for 33 seasons, received a standing ovation on his final broadcast.