Kings beat Canucks 4-3 after shootout in China

Members of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate with goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) after winning their NHL China exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Chinese children skate across the ice with a golden dragon prior to the NHL China exhibition match between the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
The Vancouver Canucks' Chris Tanev, left, and Alex Edler celebrate after Tanev scored a goal agains the Los Angeles Kings in the third period of their NHL China exhibition game at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Vancouver Canucks' Erik Gudbranson loses his stick as he falls to the ice while battling for the puck with teammates Ben Hutton, left, and Thomas Vanek and The Los Angeles Kings' Nic Dowd during the second period of their NHL China exhibition hockey game at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
The Vancouver Canucks' Brandon Sutter, left, takes a shot on goal past the Los Angeles Kings' Derek Forbort during the first period of an NHL China exhibition game at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
The Vancouver Canucks' Alex Edler celebrates after teammate Chris Tanev, foreground, scored a goal agains the Los Angeles Kings in the third period of their NHL China exhibition game at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Vancouver Canucks' Sven Baertschi, left, and the Los Angeles Kings' Paul LaDue watch as the puck goes airborne during the second period of their NHL China exhibition game at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Vancouver Canucks fans cheer after the Canucks' scored a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period of their NHL China exhibition game at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Kings won 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING — The Los Angeles Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in a shootout to win both of the NHL's first preseason games in China.

Saturday's game in Beijing caps a push by the National Hockey League to popularize the sport in China ahead of the country's hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Game MVP Jake Muzzin opened the scoring for the Kings in the first period.

Vancouver tied the score 3-3 in the third period with a goal from Chris Tanev but after a scoreless overtime, Jonny Brodzinski had the decisive goal in the shootout.

Organizers put attendance at almost 13,000, including many drawn from the Chinese capital's expatriate population.

Kings coach John Stevens said time would tell if the games succeeded in boosting hockey's profile in the country of almost 1.3 billion people, where table tennis, badminton, football and basketball are already hugely popular. But Stevens said the experience benefited both sides.

"I think in order to grow the game, you've got to start by exposing the game, and it's my hope that we made big inroads in doing that," Stevens said.

Canucks coach Travis Green said the league was firmly focused on China's youth.

"I hope that we've made an impact," he said.

Muzzin was among the many who said they'd been blown away by a visit to the Great Wall of China. The overall experience seemed to have a positive effect on his performance, which Muzzin said had "flourished these couple of games here."

The Kings won the first game in Shanghai on Thursday 5-2.

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