April 13, 2012; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins (20) is checked by a Los Angeles Kings player during the third period in game two of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Rogers Arena. The Los Angeles Kings won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

Kings Vs. Canucks, Game 4: Vancouver Stays Alive, Wins 3-1

The Vancouver Canucks will do their best to avoid elimination Sunday when the series heads back to Canada following a 3-1 Game 4 victory that prevented a sweep by the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday night.

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Canucks Vs. Kings Game 4: Big Decisions Coming For Both Teams After Vancouver Stays Alive

With the Canucks managing to come back to life, both teams need to make changes in advance of Sunday's Game 5.

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Kings Vs. Canucks Final Score, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 4: Vancouver Avoid Sweep With Win

Even though the Vancouver Canucks are still in a massive hole, they took one step toward getting out of it on Wednesday night. The Los Angeles Kings were unable to pull off a sweep in their own building as Cory Schneider put together a fantastic performance in goal in a 3-1 Canucks victory.

The first period was all LA and, even though Vancouver took the lead in the second period, the Kings were in control of that period as well. Anze Kopitar scored his first goal of the series 13 minutes into the first period, skipping past Mason Raymond following a Canucks turnover, then beating Cory Schneider glove side. It would be the last time in the game that Schneider didn't look sharp.

By the end of the second period, the Kings had 31 shots on target, but no more goals. Vancouver tied the game four minutes into the second period with a power play goal by Alexander Edler, aided by a great screen by Ryan Kesler. Four minutes later, they took the lead on a bit of a fluke goal. Kevin Bieksa was given the goal in the box score, but the real credit belongs with the stick of Mike Richards. The Kings centerman tipped Bieksa's shot and it deflected in a way that made it impossible for Jonathan Quick to make a save.

The third period featured three wild momentum shifts back-to-back-to-back, and that sequence early in the period would ultimately define the game. LA got off to a great start in the opening minutes of the period, but Slava Voynov was called for a hooking penalty just under four minutes into the third, sending Vancouver on the power play. On that ensuing power play, Dustin Brown took advantage of a Vancouver turnover and surged down the ice for a breakaway. His skates were hacked at from behind, and he was granted a shorthanded penalty shot.

Brown had some tricks up his sleeve to attempt to beat Schneider, but the Canucks goalie didn't bite on Brown's fakes and came up huge with a save that completely and instantly shifted the momentum back to his team.

Seconds later, Vancouver doubled their lead. Henrik Sedin scored his first goal of the series to make it 3-1, with his brother Daniel providing the assist in his first game back from a concussion. Though Vancouver wasn't their sharpest all day long and Daniel Sedin did not play his best all-around game, the passing exchanges between the twins looked better than anything Vancouver produced in the first three games, and it was easy to see what has been missing.

Los Angeles will still feel great about their chances to win this series but, with a road win under their belt, a hot goalie and Daniel Sedin back on the ice, this could be a great series instead of a walkover.

For more on the Canucks, head over to Vancouver Canucks blog Nucks Misconduct. For more on the Kings, head on over to LA Kings blog Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation LA.

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Kings Vs. Canucks, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 4: Cory Schneider Brilliant, Nucks Take 2-1 Lead

The Los Angeles Kings went on the power play twice in the second period and forced Cory Schneider into a ridiculous amount of work, but somehow managed to let the Vancouver Canucks back into the game. A bad penalty and a lucky deflection set up two goals for the visitors, and Vancouver leads 2-1 at the second intermission even though the Kings have twice as many shots.

Colin Fraser went to the penalty box 3:33 into the period for tripping and the Canucks capitalized instantly with a goal by Alexander Edler just over 30 seconds later. Ryan Kesler didn't get credit for an assist, but his contribution to the goal was as good as an assist. He got in front of Jonathan Quick on Edler's shot and prevented the Kings' goalie from seeing the puck.

Kevin Bieksa was credited with Vancouver's other goal 8:36 into the second period, though he needed some help from the Kings to score it. His long shot from the blue line took a massive deflection off the stick of Kings center Mike Richards, changing the trajectory of the puck in a way that made it virtually impossible for Quick to make a save.

LA's been good enough offensively that they should have made up for those goals, but Schneider played out of his mind in the second period, stopping everything thrown at him. He already has 30 saves in this game, and in his last five periods has played much better than Roberto Luongo did during the first two games in this series.

Also, during this period, Henrik Sedin punched Dustin Brown in the face and was not penalized. For those thinking that Brown took a dive, he actually came away from this with a bloody nose.

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For more on the Canucks, head over to Vancouver Canucks blog Nucks Misconduct. For more on the Kings, head on over to LA Kings blog Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation LA.

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Kings Vs. Canucks, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 4: Anze Kopitar Gives LA The Lead

The Vancouver Canucks were shut out by Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3, and Quick appears to have picked up where he left off for Game 4. Vancouver looks like they have absolutely no idea how to score and they've now gone four periods without a goal. LA weren't exactly attacking with guns blazing in the first period, but they were the better team and able to manufacture one goal. They lead 1-0 at the first intermission.

Anze Kopitar netted the game's only goal to this point, his first of the series. While Kopitar did well to get himself into such a good position to shoot, Cory Schneider probably should have gotten his glove to the puck.

Also, how does Kopitar even get into that one-on-one position? Mason Raymond's whiff at the blue line was definitely the first period's lowlight.

For more on the Canucks, head over to Vancouver Canucks blog Nucks Misconduct. For more on the Kings, head on over to LA Kings blog Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation LA.

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Daniel Sedin Injury Status: Canucks Leading Scorer To Play Game 4 Vs. Kings

Daniel Sedin told reporters that he "absolutely" expects to play Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings following the Vancouver Canucks' morning skate Wednesday. Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault earlier called Sedin a game-time decision, but the star winger will apparently give things a go after suffering a concussion on March 21 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Canucks need all the help they can get, in the face of a potential first-round elimination from the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. Sedin should provide an offensive spark to a team that has scored just four total goals over its last three games.

Sedin missed the last nine games of the regular season in addition to the Kings' first three playoff games. He has 30 goals and 37 assists in 72 games played this season.

For more on Sedin and the Canucks, check out the SB Nation blog Jewels From The Crown and stay tuned to SBN Los Angeles.

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NHL Playoffs 2012, Kings Vs. Canucks Game 4: Game Time, TV Coverage And More

The Los Angeles Kings will have an opportunity to sweep the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night. Los Angeles currently leads the best-of-seven first round playoff series, 3-0.

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