Jonathan Quick blanked the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Thursday for his 26th career shutout in his 300th NHL game. He is only six shutouts behind legendary Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon for the most clean sheets in franchise history. What’s more, Quick isn’t all that far behind Vachon for the most games played by a Kings goalie. Vachon played 389 games for the club from 1971-78.
The Kings had a strong Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs connection for Thursday’s game against Buffalo, with 10 former Monarchs in the lineup. The Kings’ AHL alums were: Dustin Brown, Dwight King, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey, Slava Voynov and Jonathan Quick,
Thanks to the Kings’ crack media relations staff for that statistic.
Jonathan Quick didn’t seem too fired up about playing in his 300th NHL game, a rather predictable 2-0 victory Thursday over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center. It was his first shutout of the season and the 26th of his career. Here’s what he had to say about reaching a rather minor milestone in his career: “It’s just another game. It’s two points. We’ve got another game against the Canucks in two days and that’s the focus now.”
Quick said he didn’t know it was his 300th game until there was an announcement in the arena during a stoppage in play during the game. He improved his all-time record to 158-105-29, including 9-5-0 this season.
The Kings’ penalty-killing unit gave up two first-period power-play goals to the Nashville Predators during Saturday’s 4-3 loss. Coach Darryl Sutter later questioned the effectiveness of defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell, and even wondered about Jonathan Quick’s play in goal. The Kings have given up at least one power-play goal in six consecutive games.
The quality of the Kings’ penalties was lacking in the early going, however. Daniel Carcillo went to the box for kneeing on a play some 150 feet from his own net. Kyle Clifford followed him later after taking a boarding penalty in the neutral zone, more than 100 feet from his own goal.
“Those are penalties you don’t want,” team captain Dustin Brown said, speaking generally about penalties in the offensive and neutral zones rather than specifically about Carcillo’s and Clifford’s infractions. “We have to be smarter, that’s for sure. We’ve also got to kill penalties off at the end of the day.”
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is 4-0 in shootouts this season, having denied 10 of 11 shooters after Sunday’s victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Quick said Monday he keeps mental notes on the favorite moves of opposing shooters, whether they like to shoot quickly or make a fake or two before trying to slip the puck behind him. He also stressed the importance of gaining the extra point after each team draws one for forcing a game to overtime and then a shootout.
The Edmonton Oilers went into Sunday’s game against the Kings as one of the NHL’s biggest messes. They gave up a league-high 48 goals through 12 games to start the season and were a dismal 3-8-1 after a 5-4 loss Saturday to the Phoenix Coyotes. Their goaltending was subpar, with Jason LaBarbera not exactly sharp as a tack. Richard Bachman was recalled from the minor leagues and he got the start against the Kings, and nearly earned a victory. The Kings took 48 shots at him, but got only one past him during a 2-1 shootout victory. Here are three things to consider about a game that very nearly got away from the Kings:
The Kings ended a four-game drought without a power-play goal when right wing Justin Williams chipped a backhander into the back of the net in the first period of Saturday’s victory over the Dallas Stars. Their last power-play goal was in an Oct. 9 win over the Ottawa Senators. Of equal or greater importance to Kings coach Darryl Sutter was the penalty-killing unit’s ongoing excellence. He was pleased by their success, of course, but only to a point. Sutter always believes the Kings can do better. At everything. All the time.
The Kings have killed off 14 consecutive shorthanded situations over their last four games, with goaltender Jonathan Quick serving as their best penalty killer during Saturday’s victory over the Stars. Quick made several excellent saves while the Kings were shorthanded. The Kings might have relied on him a little too much for Sutter’s taste.
“There were times tonight we killed the penalty and there were other teams we didn’t and Quick had to make big saves he should haven’t to,” Sutter said.
How do the Kings do it? How do they manage to avoid the jitters in tight games?
Martin St. Louis scored two goals and skated circles around the flat-footed Kings during a 5-1 rout by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Slava Voynov scored the Kings’ only goal, which cut the Tampa Bay lead to 3-1 for an all-too-brief moment in the third period. Tampa Bay’s speed and skill was evident from the start, and the Kings couldn’t catch up. Here are three impressions about the end of the Kings’ three-game winning streak:
The Kings hit the road Thursday for a four-game trip that starts Friday in Raleigh, N.C., lugging some serious baggage after four games to start the season. Here’s the second of three things to watch during an eight-night trek to play the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators:
When will we see Ben Scrivens get his first start with the Kings? The backup goaltender played 14 minutes, 20 seconds in one relief appearance so far, with Jonathan Quick starting each of the first four regular-season games. The schedule gets a little tight over the next few days, with games coming roughly every other day for the next week or so. Kings coach Darryl Sutter would play Quick in every game if he could, but he’s no dummy. Sutter knows it’s best to pace Quick over the long 82-game regular season. So, keep an eye out for Scrivens, who has something to prove after the Kings acquired him in the deal that sent backup goalie Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer.