Baertschi, Canucks send Kings to 3rd straight loss
LOS ANGELES — Sven Baertschi scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play early in the third period and the Vancouver Canucks wrapped up a four-game road trip by sending the Los Angeles Kings to their third consecutive loss, 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Henrik Sedin and Bo Horvat scored second-period goals for the Canucks, who had lost two straight and five of seven. Anders Nilsson overcame a rough start to make 30 saves in his first appearance since Oct. 26 as Vancouver knocked off the Pacific Division leaders.
Tanner Pearson scored in the opening minute and Anze Kopitar extended his point streak to nine games with a power-play goal moments later for the Kings, who hadn’t lost three straight since Feb. 16-19.
Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots, but Los Angeles remained winless three games into a five-game homestand after blowing a two-goal lead against the inconsistent Canucks.
Vancouver was two for 21 on the power play over its past six games before improbably scoring twice against the Kings, who had the NHL’s best penalty-killing percentage entering the game. Horvat scored the tying goal on a power play late in the second period.
With Kings forward Andrew Crescenzi in the penalty box during his NHL debut, Baertschi took a cross-ice pass from Thomas Vanek and caught Quick leaning the wrong way for his sixth goal of the season.
Nilsson had sat out the previous seven games behind Jacob Markstrom, and he got off to a shaky start when Pearson slipped an innocent shot past his short side just 23 seconds in. Kopitar doubled the Kings’ lead 3:14 in with his ninth goal of a resurgent season.
Henrik Sedin got the Canucks on the board early in the second with a shot that banked in off the posterior of Kings forward Nick Shore. Horvat evened it with a rebound goal after Brock Boeser’s shot, and Sedin also got an assist for the 250th multipoint game of his career.
Quick stopped a penalty shot by Brandon Sutter later in the second.
The Canucks host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
COLUMBUS 2 MONTREAL 1 (OT)
MONTREAL — Zach Werenski scored in overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets held on for a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.
Josh Anderson scored in the game’s opening minutes for the Blue Jackets (11-7-1) while Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves.
Paul Byron had the only goal for the Canadiens (8-9-2). Charlie Lindgren, making his fifth consecutive start for Montreal, stopped 23 of 25 shots.
Werenski scored 1:31 into overtime with a wrist shot in the roof of the net, glove side on Lindgren.
Anderson put the visitors in front 2:29 into the game with his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Montreal’s Brandon Davidson tipped Markus Nutivaara’s point shot right to Anderson, who let the puck drop to the ice before batting it past Lindgren. Davidson was also at fault seconds earlier when Nutivaara intercepted his failed clearance at the blue line.
The goal came on Columbus’s second shot of the game.
Byron, playing his 300th NHL game, came close to equalizing midway through the second period. With the Canadiens playing shorthanded, Byron stole the puck from Seth Jones at the blue line and moved in all alone on Bobrovsky, but the Blue Jackets goalie got his pad on the shot.
The Habs upped the pressure in the third period but Bobrovsky was again up to the challenge.
Bobrovsky, without his stick, robbed Jacob De La Rose with a blocker save on a 2-on-1 five minutes into the period. Three minutes later, he made three consecutive saves on Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.
Montreal finally broke through when Byron poked a loose rebound over Bobrovsky’s shoulder into the top corner of the net at 12:14 of the third.
With forward Torrey Mitchell out with the flu, the Canadiens were forced to dress seven defencemen. Rookie Victor Mete played on the fourth line with Jacob De La Rose and Byron Froese.
The Canadiens claimed goalie Antti Niemi off waivers from the Florida Panthers. Carey Price (lower body) and Al Montoya (concussion) are still sidelined with injuries.
L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick blocks a shot as Vancouver Canucks’ Daniel Sedin watches during the first period of play in Los Angeles on Tuesday.