Here’s what Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins had to say after Kings rookie Martin Jones stopped 24 shots to record his sixth straight victory (and third shutout) to begin his NHL career: “It turns into math. The more chances you get, the sooner or later, they going to go in. That young man was good. Maybe we just should have ran him the first shift and got it over with. That’s a good goalie they have.”
Martin Jones was 3-0-0 with one shutout, a puny 1.00 goals-against average and a .972 save percentage last week. The Kings’ 23-year-old rookie goaltender was named the NHL’s second star of the week Monday. Overall, Jones is 5-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage. He is the first goalie in league history to give up an average of less than one goal per game while winning each of his first five appearances, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was the No. 1 star and Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton was the third star.
Reminder: Saturday’s game is early for us on the West Coast. Fox Sports West and KTLK-1150 will carry the game starting at 11 a.m. … The Kings appeared to be in trouble when No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Quick, the MVP of their Stanley Cup championship run in 2012, suffered a groin strain Nov. 12 against the Buffalo Sabres. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
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.
The Kings continued their superb play with a 6-0 beatdown of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Six different players scored for the Kings (20-7-4) and rookie goaltender Martin Jones recorded his second consecutive shutout in only his third NHL game. So, far Jones is 3-0-0, having given up only two goals in a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks. The Kings’ power play finally clicked, ending a streak of eight-plus games without a man-advantage goal. Montreal was dominant in the first period, but couldn’t crack Jones and was well-beaten by night’s end.
Here are three things about the game:
The Kings departed from LAX on Monday and they moved closer to becoming whole again, with defenseman Matt Greene and forward Trevor Lewis inching toward their respective returns from injured reserve. Goaltender Jonathan Quick is expected to be sidelined until Christmas at the earliest, however.
Goaltender Martin Jones’ memorable debut in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Ducks wasn’t surprising to Kings coach Darryl Sutter. After all, it wasn’t as if Jones was new to the rigorous of life for an NHL goalie. Until making his debut Tuesday, he had done everything but play in a league game.
Finally, he got his chance and made the most of it.
“Last two years was important because you get to watch,” Sutter said Friday, referring to the fact that Jones joined the Kings as part of their expanded roster during the Stanley Cup playoffs the last two seasons. “You watch, and young guys understand what game days are like. That’s good for them.”
Sutter revealed the reason he started Jones against the Ducks was he didn’t like some habits that slipped into the game of Ben Scrivens, who inherited the starting position after No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin strain Nov. 12.
“Just little things,” Sutter said. “You can’t do it at this level. You’re going to get scored on. We did a lot of work with Ben at training camp to get him into our program. There’s a reason why we don’t give up a lot of shots. There’s a reason we don’t give up a lot of goals around our net. … A big reason is the goaltender. If he’s getting away from that, he’s not going to play.”
Martin Jones went back to work Thursday morning in El Segundo, which was to say, he stayed on the ice longer than most of his Kings teammates. In other words, he resumed his duties as the Kings’ fill-in backup goaltender a little less than 48 hours after an unforgettable NHL debut.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick suffered a strained groin during a 3-2 shootout loss Tuesday to the Buffalo Sabres, according to reports from the team’s morning skate Thursday in Uniondale, N.Y. The Los Angeles Times reported an MRI exam revealed the injury was confined to Quick’s groin and that his hamstring was not hurt. Surgery is not required, but Quick could be sidelined for up to six weeks.
The Kings sent goaltender Jonathan Quick back to Southern California to get his groin/hamstring checked out after he was injured in Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Sabres in Buffalo. Quick was hurt in the final minute of overtime and was forced from the game. Ben Scrivens replaced him for the final 32 seconds of OT plus the shootout. The Kings recalled Martin Jones from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League to serve as Scrivens’ backup. Or perhaps to start one of the remaining three games on their four-game trip. The Kings play the New York Islanders on Thursday, the New Jersey Devils on Friday and the New York Rangers on Sunday before returning home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning next Tuesday.