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NHL Playoff Roundup

Canucks sent home by Kings

Giroux, Flyers finish Penguins in Game 6

The Kings’ Brad Richardson is mobbed after eliminating Vancouver with an OT goal. The Kings’ Brad Richardson is mobbed after eliminating Vancouver with an OT goal. (DARRYL DYCK/Associated Press)
Associated Press / April 23, 2012
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Jarret Stoll beat Cory Schneider with a wrist shot at 4:27 of overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 victory in Vancouver on Sunday night, knocking out the top-seeded Canucks in five games in the Western Conference first-round series.

Stoll scored from the left wing after a turnover at Vancouver blue line. The forward skated in on a two-on-one, but took the shot himself, picking the top-left corner above Schneider’s blocker.

Brad Richardson tied it for Los Angeles at 3:21 of the third period, and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves.

“To close out this series, for me personally, and a few guys in the room, it’s something we’ve never done, so it’s a great feeling,’’ Quick said.

The Kings will play the second-seeded St. Louis Blues in the second round.

Henrik Sedin opened the scoring for Vancouver with a power-play goal in the first period.

Schneider made 35 saves in his third straight start after Roberto Luongo lost the first two games.

The Canucks dropped out in the first round after leading the NHL in regular-season points for the second straight year. Last season, they lost to the Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

“To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you lose the seventh game of the finals or you lose in five in the first round, it’s devastating,’’ Daniel Sedin said. “We have the mind-set to win every year. When you end up on the losing side it’s tough.’’

With Henrik Sedin double-shifting, the Canucks capitalized on their second power play when the Vancouver captain put in a cross-ice pass from brother Daniel Sedin with 5:56 left in the period.

Schneider preserved the lead when he stopped Anze Kopitar on a breakaway in the dying seconds of the first period. Kopitar put the rebound off the post as time expired.

Richardson drew the Kings even in the third, tapping in a pass from Drew Doughty.

It was the first goal of the series for Richardson, who missed the first three games while recovering from an appendectomy.

Flyers 5, Penguins 1 - Claude Giroux wrapped up a dominant series with a goal and two assists, Ilya Bryzgalov had his first outstanding effort in net, and host Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh to win their Eastern Conference opening-round series in six games.

“G is a very special player,’’ Bryzgalov said. “There’s not very many players like that in the world.’’

In a series where no lead was safe, the Flyers scored the first three goals and made it stand behind stout defense - blocking 40 shots - and stellar play out of Bryzgalov (30 saves).

“Guys were sacrificing their bodies to block shots and were paying the price taking hits to make plays,’’ Scott Hartnell said. “It was awesome to see.’’

Giroux flattened Penguins star Sidney Crosby five seconds into the game, buried his sixth goal of the series past Marc-Andre Fleury 27 seconds later.

Moments after Giroux leveled Crosby, the Flyers winger took the loose puck and fired from the circle for a 1-0 lead. He gestured toward the crowd and slammed the glass in celebration, firing up 20,000 fans that hadn’t had much to cheer about the last two games.

“I wasn’t planning to hit Crosby,’’ Giroux said. “Just sometimes when you have a chance to hit another player, you’ve got to go out there and do it.’’

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