The tide shifts in Game 2.
The Kings are down 2-0 past the halfway point, and are in deep trouble series-wise. They win 3-2 in overtime, and knot this puppy 1-1. Heading home.
They win because Rob Scuderi, one of four Cup-winning Crowns, throws a puck at the Canucks bench in the midst of a change for a too-many-men penalty. Anze Kopitar scores on the power play.
Alain Vigneault's take: "It was the wrong call. You are allowed five feet [from the bench]and the rule is the player coming on the ice cannot play the puck. While, yeah, that puck touched one of our players, it touched Kevin Bieksa trying to get off the ice because he was cut.
"We've got two referees that got red stripes on their sweaters. They should make the call if they think it's a penalty, and not the linesman."
L.A.'s Terry Murray calls it a smart play by a heads-up veteran.
Abysmal. Three penalties, one retaliatory. Twenty-three PIMs in two games. Perhaps Aaron Rome is healthy for Game 3. If not, Vigneault's hand is forced. Next man up: Nolan Baumgartner.
L.A.'s young forwards
Murray's bet pays off. Wayne Simmonds scores a power-play goal, and is "twice the player he was in Game 1." He is also a first-line upgrade over Justin Williams (benched). Kopitar is better, too. Ditto Dustin Brown and Alexander Frolov.
He was the best player in the first period of Game 1. Now, he seems a step out of sync with Sedin-squared. When he's knocked to the ice, he doesn't pop up.
Canucks fans incensed. Vigneault's hot under the collar. Auger-Burrows wounds. Gentlemen, start your tempers.
Two games, two extra sessions. Be prepared for a late night (PT), and an early morning (ET).