LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Tanner Pearson missed his spot on his shootout attempt. Luckily for him, so did Jacob Markstrom.
Pearson scored for the fourth time this season and got the lone shootout goal, lifting the Los Angeles Kings over the previously unbeaten Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Saturday night.
Pearson fired from the right hash marks and beat Markstrom between the legs.
“I’ll admit, that was a missed shot,” Pearson said. “I was trying to go high and kind of fanned on it and had to go five-hole.”
Peter Budaj was pressed into service after Jeff Zatkoff injured his groin in the morning skate and stopped 22 shots for his second straight win. Budaj played in his 300th NHL game and is the third goalie the Kings have used this season. Jonathan Quick also injured his groin in the season opener in San Jose and is expected to miss the next three months.
Budaj joined the Kings on a two-way deal last season and played mostly in the minors. The 34-year-old appeared in just one game in the NHL last season, but now figures to get more work after going 3 for 3 in the shootout.
“It was a special moment. I’ve come a long ways,” Budaj said. “Two years ago I was on a (professional try out) and I didn’t have anything. A year and half later, I’m not the guy who will play most of the games. It shows you that you should never quit.”
Alexander Edler tied it on a power play with 34.4 seconds left in the third period.
The Kings had a power play for the final 1:16 of overtime but Markstrom made two keys saves to send it into a shootout. Markstrom made 28 saves.
Brayden McNabb and Dustin Brown also scored while Los Angeles built a 3-0 lead, but the Canucks rallied to force overtime for the fourth time in five games this season. Vancouver is 4-0-1, including three wins after trailing going into the third period.
This time, Markus Granlund scored 8:40 into the second period and Henrik Sedin got a goal with 4:03 left in the second to cut the deficit to 3-2, setting up Edler’s equalizer on a wrist shot from the left point.
“We didn’t deserve a point after the first two periods,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. “We didn’t create a lot the first two. But our guys stayed with it and we capitalized on that power play late when we needed to. It’s better to get one point than nothing.”
Pearson’s shootout goal came on a wrist shot from the right hash marks, beating Markstrom five-hole.
McNabb scored 4:35 into the first when he banked a wrist shot off the crossbar and behind Markstrom. Pearson scored with 1:36 left in the first when Markstrom failed to cleanly glove Alec Martinez’s point shot and Pearson knocked in the rebound.
The Kings scored again 33 seconds into the next period when Markstrom lost his footing in the crease and let Brown poke in a rebound for a shorthanded goal. Brown also had two assists.
NOTES: The Kings recalled Jack Campbell from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Saturday to back up Budaj. … Pearson now has points in all three games he has played this year. … Brown scored his first shorthanded goal since Feb. 25, 2012 against Chicago, the fourth of his career, and the first shorthanded goal for Los Angeles this season. It was the first three-plus point game for Brown since Dec. 29, 2015.
Canucks: Play at Anaheim on Sunday night.
Kings: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.