So, I had all this fine stuff saved up for Ben Scrivens’ return to Toronto, but then came word that he wouldn’t start Wednesday’s game against his old team. Martin Jones would be in the lineup, having recorded victories in his first three NHL games, including back-to-back shutouts. Scrivens talked the other day about enjoying his time with the Maple Leafs, but didn’t think he’d grow misty-eyed at the sight of downtown TO when the team bus cruised down the Gardiner Expressway from Pearson International Airport. He also said he was happy to be a King now.
It took three remarkable performances from Jones to put Scrivens on the bench. Jones became the first rookie goaltender to post two shutouts in his first three NHL games since Robbie Moore of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1978-79, according to research unearthed by the folks at the Elias Sports Bureau. Furthermore, Jones in the first Kings rookie to have back-to-back shutouts since Gerry Desjardins in 1968-69. And he’s the first rookie to have two shutouts in a row in the NHL since Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010-11.
Meanwhile, the Kings tried for their fourth consecutive victory since a clunker of a loss to the Calgary Flames. It was their only game in the last 16 in which they haven’t recorded at least one point in the standings. The Kings haven’t given up more than two goals, excluding shootout goals, in any of those 16 contests. Goaltending has been a big reason, with Scrivens and now Jones filling in for injured No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick, who is sidelined by a groin strain. Jones is 3-0-0 with a 0.65 goals-against average and a .973 save percentage.