The Vancouver Canucks avoided what would have been an extremely embarrassing sweep at the Staples Center on Wednesday, forcing another game back home at Rogers Arena. The Los Angeles Kings are still very much in control of their series with a 3-1 lead, but they might feel considerably less in control if they let Vancouver grab a second straight win, this time on home ice, when the two teams meet on Sunday.
Game 4 of the series featured some unlucky bounces for the Kings, as well as a failure to capitalize on golden opportunities. The goal that ultimately became the game winner, scored by Kevin Bieksa in the second period, took a huge deflection off the stick of Kings' center Mike Richards. Later in the game, Dustin Brown won a penalty shot shorthanded, but Cory Schneider made a big stop to preserve his team's lead. Less than a minute later. Henrik Sedin made it 3-1 with a power-play goal.
That score doesn't tell the story at all. Schneider was brilliant, stopping 43 shots. None of the Canucks' goals were the fault of Jonathan Quick. The Canucks did well to win on the road and extend the series, but they'll have to take their game a step further on Sunday and actually play better hockey than their opponents.
No. 8 Los Angeles Kings at No. 1 Vancouver Canucks
8 p.m. ET -- Game 5, Western Conference Quarterfinals | Kings lead, 3-1
National TV: NBCSN, CBC, RSN | Local TV: FOX Sports West
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. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.