NHL: Los Angeles 4, Vancouver 2

April 12, 2012 at 1:36 AM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 12 (UPI) -- Dustin Penner put Los Angeles in front with 3:14 to go in regulation Wednesday and the Kings opened the first round of the playoffs by downing Vancouver 4-2.

Penner snapped a 2-2 tie by firing a slap shot past Roberto Luongo and Dustin Brown added an empty-net goal with 18 seconds to play.

Los Angeles thus surprised the team that for the second year in a row produced the best regular-season record in the NHL. The Kings will try to take a 2-0 lead on Vancouver's home ice Friday.

Alex Burrows put the Canucks in front just 4:17 into the contest, but the Kings produced the next two goals -- both coming on the power play.

Mike Richards scored with 6:29 to go in the first period and Willie Mitchell tallied with 3:27 left in the second.

Alexander Edler tied it for Vancouver with only 8 seconds remaining in the middle period, setting up a tense duel over the game's final stages.

Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots in what was the fifth playoff victory of his career. He has had two in each of the last two seasons. Luongo made 35 saves in the loss.

Luongo won 15 post-season games last year, coming up one short in Vancouver's bid to win the Stanley Cup. The Canucks were defeated by Boston in the finals.

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