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Kings earn a point but fall to Canucks in a shootout – Daily News

LOS ANGELES — As many struggles as they’ve had this season, the Kings are not out of the race for a playoff berth in the Western Conference.

They were eight points out going into Thursday’s game against Vancouver with just 26 games to play, so the window to put together a winning streak is shrinking.

In this game, they showed resiliency, twice coming back from a goal down to tie and then taking a lead on Alec Martinez’s goal 10:59 into the third period. But Vancouver’s Adam Gaudette answered at 18:22 to tie the score, and the Canucks eventually won the game 4-3 via a shootout before 18,230 at Staples Center.

Brock Boeser scored what proved to be the game-winner in the third round of the shootout. Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom made 35 saves through overtime, allowing a shootout goal to Ilya Kovalchuk before stopping Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe.

The Kings (23-28-6, 52 points) did pick up a point and are now seven points out of a playoff spot. The Canucks, one of several conference teams being chased by the Kings, are 26-26-7 (59 points). Vancouver is now tied points-wise with Minnesota for the second wild-card berth, but the Wild have two games in hand.

Gaudette’s late goal that tied the score came after he gathered a loose puck. Kings interim coach Willie Desjardins was disappointed because it appeared his team was headed for victory.

“It’s frustrating, but I thought it was a hard game all the way through,” he said. “I thought right from the start it wasn’t going to be like you were going to get anything easy out there tonight.

“I thought our group showed a lot, though. We had lots of chances and I thought their guys battled, too, after having a back-to-back.”

Vancouver was coming off a 1-0 loss to the Ducks on Wednesday in Anaheim, and the Kings out-shot them 38-27.

The Canucks got on the board first when Elias Pettersson scored his 26th goal of the season on a power play at 12:22 of the first period. Pettersson received a pass inside the right face-off circle and blasted the puck past Jonathan Quick into the right corner.

Assists went to Troy Stecher and Bo Horvat. The goal came with 23 seconds left on the man-advantage, which was the result of an interference penalty on Trevor Lewis.

The crowd went quiet following the goal only to erupt moments later when the Kings’ Austin Wagner responded with his eighth of the season just eight seconds later to tie the score.

After the Kings won the face-off, Wagner took a pass and went down the middle of the ice before unleashing a shot that beat Markstrom. Kyle Clifford and Derek Forbort assisted.

Wagner, like Desjardins, was frustrated. To him, the Canucks never should have tied the score late the way they did.

“Awful,” he said. “We’ve gotta be able to hold that lead there.”

Martinez wasn’t too happy, either.

“We’ve just got to learn from this stuff,” he said. “I think we’ve been practicing better as of late and that’s translated to games. But like I said, we need points right now.”

The Kings had not played at home since Jan. 21 because of the All-Star Game, the bye week and a six-game trip while Staples Center hosted the Grammys. The Kings went 3-2-1 on that trip, losing the last two.

Vancouver took a 2-1 lead at 9:46 of the second period on Boeser’s 20th of the season. The Kings could not clear the puck out of their end, and they paid for it when Boeser tapped in the puck from point-blank range past Quick, who had little chance for the save after Boeser received a pass from Jay Beagle. The other assist went to Antoine Roussel.

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