LOS ANGELES, CA – A major milestone was met tonight for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, as he played in his 300th career NHL game. He celebrated the occasion with a stellar performance in the crease, turning away every shot he faced this evening – blanking the Buffalo Sabres with 19 saves for his first shutout of the season.
Funny how things go, sometimes – as Jonathan Quick’s NHL debut came against the Sabres on December 6, 2007.
The Kings, although shorthanded in the lineup without forwards Jeff Carter, Jarret Stoll, and defenseman Matt Greene, looked rather refreshed and rejuvenated coming off their four-day break from action.
After Jonathan Quick turned away Buffalo’s early onslaught, the Kings settled down and struck first in the final seconds of the first period. Jake Muzzin, with time and space from the top of the zone, directed a well-placed shot on net, and Mike Richards was planted in front of Buffalo’s Jhonas Enroth to redirect Muzzin’s shot into the back of the net with just :36.7 seconds remaining in the first period.
It was all Kings from then on out, as they controlled the pace in all aspects for the remainder of the contest. Anze Kopitar added insurance to the Kings lead halfway through the second period, burying a one-timer from a Drew Doughty pass to give the Kings a firm 2-0 lead – which would hold as tonight’s final score.
HISTORY BOOKS: Jonathan Quick now has 26 career shutouts, and is now just six shutouts away from Rogie Vachon for the franchise lead. Vachon totaled in with 32 career shutouts in a Kings uniform.
MANCHESTER CALLING: The Kings had 10 former Manchester Monarchs in their lineup tonight, which shows how outstanding the development of prospects has been in this organization throughout the past few years. The former Monarchs were Quick, Muzzin, Lewis, Brown, Voynov, Martinez, Vey, Toffoli, Nolan, and King.
POWER HOUR: The Kings scored both of their goals on the powerplay tonight, and are 6 for 17 (35.3%) during man-advantage situations in their previous four contests.
HOT HANDS: Anze Kopitar has a goal in the last three games, and has 11 points (4G, 7A) in his last eight games. Mike Richards now has eight points (4G, 4A) in his last seven games. Drew Doughty has seven points (3G, 4A) in his last eight games. Jake Muzzin now has three points (3A) in his last three games.
OH VEY: Linden Vey made his NHL debut tonight, and was rather solid. He saw 11:28 of ice time tonight, including multiple appearances on both the Kings’ power play and penalty kill.