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Canucks Make It Easy for Kings in Exhibition : Robitaille Scores Four Points; Melanson, Still Unscored Upon, Stops 17 Shots

September 30, 1987|JERRY CROWE | Times Staff Writer

The Vancouver Canucks were so bad in the first period Tuesday night at the Forum that they couldn't wait to get into their dressing room.

They left the ice before the Kings, resulting in a two-minute penalty at the start of the second period. In the National Hockey League, the visiting team is required to wait until the home team leaves the ice.

But that was the least of the Canucks' problems in an 8-0 exhibition loss before a crowd of 6,397.

Luc Robitaille scored a goal and had three assists, and Bernie Nicholls scored two goals for the Kings, who improved their exhibition record to 2-3.

The Kings' defense limited the Canucks to only four shots on goal in the first period and two in the third as the Kings, 3-0 winners over Winnipeg last Friday, recorded their second straight shutout.

"They didn't dress their best roster," King Coach Mike Murphy said of the Canucks, who did not use several regulars, "but our team played a motivated game. Our guys had lost three times to them and they said, 'Enough's enough.' "

The Kings killed six power plays.

King goaltender Rollie Melanson, who combined with rookie Mark Fitzpatrick for the shutout at Winnipeg, stopped 17 shots in going the route this time.

Melanson, who did not play in any of the Kings' three losses to the Canucks this month in British Columbia, has not allowed a goal in 91 minutes during the exhibition season, and the Kings have not given up a goal since the third period of an 8-2 loss to the Canucks Sept. 22 at Vancouver, a span of 133 minutes 54 seconds.

"When you don't get tested a lot, it's sometimes a tougher game because you tend to lose your concentration," Murphy said. "But Rollie was sharp. He was hungry for the puck."

The Kings, who meet Winnipeg tonight at the Forum, outscored the Canucks, 4-0, in the first period, attempting 17 shots to the Canucks' 4. The period was so one-sided that the Canucks went through an entire power play without a shot on goal.

They had attempted only one shot, in fact, by the time the Kings had built a 2-0 lead on goals by Craig Duncanson, who put in a rebound of his own shot, and Nicholls, who deflected a shot from the blue line by Mark Hardy into the net during a power play.

Goals by Joe Paterson, who knocked in a rebound of a shot by Duncanson, and Taylor, who made a twisting shot from the right side after taking a pass from Robitaille, made it 4-0.

At 9:24 of the second period, Nicholls scored a power-play goal, taking a pass from Jim Fox, who deflected a rebound to Taylor, who was standing to the left of the net.

Robitaille made it 6-0 with 59 seconds left in the period, working himself free on the left side after taking a pass from Taylor, making a move through the slot and flipping a back-handed shot past Vancouver goaltender Darren Jensen, who faced 33 shots.

Robitaille added a fourth point at 12:54 of the third period, making a nice centering pass to Jimmy Carson, who slapped a shot past Jensen from the right side of the slot.

It was only the second shot of the period by the Kings. The Canucks had none at that point.

Fox added a power-play goal, the Kings' third in six opportunities, with 1:14 left.

King Notes

Rookie goaltender Mark Fitzpatrick, who stopped 11 shots in shutting out Winnipeg for 29 minutes last Friday night in a 3-0 King victory at Winnipeg, is expected to play the entire game tonight against the Jets. Fitzpatrick, 18, is locked in a battle with another rookie, Glenn Healy, to win the job as backup to Rollie Melanson. Healy, 25, is expected to play the entire game Thursday night, when the Kings play Vancouver at Tucson. . . . Veteran goaltenders Bob Janecyk and Al Jensen were assigned to the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate at New Haven, Conn., in part, Coach Mike Murphy said last week, because "their ability to come off the bench is not great. We felt that those two guys were not capable of that role." Healy, who won 46 games the last two seasons at New Haven, is a "very enthusiastic, bouncy type of individual who is going to come off the bench well," Murphy said. "That's a real consideration for us." And Fitzpatrick? "I'm not sure he would accept a secondary role," Murphy said, "but that's a bridge we'll cross when we come to it." . . . The Kings, who open the regular season Oct. 8 at the Forum against the New York Islanders, close out the exhibition season Saturday night at San Diego against the U.S. Olympic team.

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