LOS ANGELES, Calif. – With Jonathan Quick in net, the Los Angeles Kings feel confident enough to beat any team in the NHL.
Now the only question is how long can Quick keep his shutout streak going.
Quick became the first goaltender in the franchise’s 44-year history to record three consecutive shutouts and defenceman Jack Johnson scored in the third period of a 1-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
“It feels great to have that done—but at the end of the day, it’s one game and two points. That’s all I was focused on,” Quick said after his 17th career shutout.
“It’s a long season, and we have to keep this momentum going. We’ve got guys battling at all areas of the rink, especially in the D-zone, where they’re battling along the wall and in front of the net and clearing out rebounds. They’re doing their job extremely well, and it’s making my just that much easier.”
Quick, who had three shutouts last December, joined Felix Potvin as the only Kings goalies with three shutouts in two different months. Potvin had a club-record four in March 2001.
“He deserves this as much as anyone, and we’re so happy for him and really excited for him,” Johnson said after scoring his third game-winner of the young season.
“All the top goalies in the league like Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller, they all have the same characteristic—they never quit on a play. Even when it seems like Quicker is down and out, he keeps coming and makes that miraculous save.”
Coming off victories against St. Louis and Phoenix, Quick stopped 28 shots to help extend the Kings’ winning streak to four games and end Dallas’ at five.
“Any time a goaltender gets a shutout, everyone contributes. But you’ve got to give him a lot of the credit,” Kings coach Terry Murray said. “He’s focused on the play and he’s aggressive to the shots. Tonight he was again on his game, and he just followed up on the game at Phoenix and brought the same game here tonight.”
Quick extended his scoreless streak to 188 minutes and 10 seconds, breaking the club mark of 185:55 by Rogie Vachon during the 1975-76 season.
The closest the Stars came to scoring was when Michael Ryder hit the crossbar with a 30-foot wrist shot over Quick’s left shoulder early in the third period.
Andrew Raycroft stopped Los Angeles’ first 23 shots before newcomer Mike Richards won a faceoff deep in the Dallas zone. Johnson got a cross-ice pass from Rob Scuderi and took a one-timer from the right point that beat Raycroft to the glove side at 15:02 of the third while Steve Ott was screening his goalie.
“Just before we lined up, we talked about Richards wanting to win the faceoff on his backhand, based on what the other centerman was doing,” Johnson said. “We were trying to set it up like that the whole game, trying to get a quick one-timer off the faceoff and create havoc. And if it was a clean enough win, Scuderi was going to try and set me up for a one-timer.”
Raycroft was in net for a 5-2 loss at Chicago on Oct. 8 before Kari Lehtonen started the next five games—winning them all and allowing eight goals during that stretch.
“I don’t think there are a lot of things in the game we can complain about, besides finishing,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. “Sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in for you, and we didn’t get one tonight. When we have success, we’re getting pucks deep. With guys like (Anze) Kopitar and Richards, you don’t really want to play in your zone. So the easiest way to defend is to play in the offensive zone.”
The Stars, coming off a 3-1 win at Anaheim, had a 21-19 shots advantage through two periods against the Kings with Raycroft making his second start of the season.
“We’re a confident group now and we have enough swagger now and cockiness that if we play well, we’re going to beat anyone,” Johnson said. “The only way we’re going to lose is if we beat ourselves.”
Notes: Quick, who has stopped 175 of 180 shots in his six games this season (5-0-1), is the first NHL goalie with three straight shutouts since Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets in December 2008. … Johnson did not have a game-winning goal in the NHL prior to this season. … Dallas RW Radek Dvorak, who signed a one-year,$1.5 million contract as a free agent in July, hasn’t scored a goal in eight games with his new club. … Kopitar played in his 400th regular-season game and Ott appeared in his 500th. … Among the sellout crowd of 18,118 was Dodgers first baseman James Loney. … The Kings are 16-2-2 against Dallas since Jan. 12, 2008.