The Kings beat the Canucks, 1-0, in one of the more strange, fight-filled games here this season, a game pleasing mostly to fans of "old-time hockey" and the close relatives of the referees, eager to see them get more TV time.
After 40 minutes of scoreless play, Kings captain Dustin Brown broke the deadlock a mere 24 seconds into the third period, putting the finishing touch on a three-on-break with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, beating Canucks goalie Eddie Lack with a backhander at the right post.
Recording his 27th career shutout was Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who made 28 saves. It was Quick's second shutout of the season and the first since he came back to action after his long injury layoff because of a strained groin.
The Kings are 4-0 against Vancouver this season, and this game had a heightened level of intensity. The root of Monday's hostilities could be traced back to the Kings-Canucks game at Staples Center on Jan. 4, and, in fact, to Brown, who scored the game-winner.
Brown earned the ire of the Canucks and Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis. Gillis told Canucks' reporters Brown ran his goalie Roberto Luongo in that Jan. 4 game. Luongo, who injured his ankle on the play, has resumed practicing but has not returned to action.
"For whatever reason, they were mad at me for getting knocked into their goalie," Brown said. "It's nice to score but more important, it's nice to win.
"You go tied 0-0 into the third against that team, that's two points behind us, and the emotion of the game, I think it's something we can rally around."
Brown was not surprised by the Canucks' emotion. The Kings could not capitalize on their power-play chances, going 0-7.
"I don't know. When their GM speaks in the media, I'm sure they're going to react that way," Brown said of the physical nature of the game.
Vancouver and the Kings were scoreless through two periods, combining for 103 penalty minutes. They combined for 109 penalty minutes overall.
Said Quick: "It's usually like that when we play these guys. They're a tough team. We've developed a bit of a rivalry over the years."
That, and the words after the Jan. 4 game left little doubt that someone would address this issue on the ice with Brown. The biggest surprise was that it took until the second period when Canucks center Ryan Kesler fought Brown.
Said Brown: "Oh … it is what it is."
Presumably, they can hug it out when they are Olympic teammates for Team USA in Sochi, Russia.
There were five fighting majors handed out, three to the Canucks and two to the Kings. Canucks enforcer Tom Sestito amassed a fascinating line on his lone shift of the game when he went after the Kings' Jordan Nolan just 2:33 into the game: a two-minute minor for instigating, five-minute major for fighting, a game misconduct and 10-minute misconduct for instigating.
Nolan summed it up best, in his TV interview, saying: "We just don't like them very much."