Kings: Jonathan Quick breaks franchise record in win
March, 28, 2012
By Dan Arritt | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Gerry Thomas/NHLI/Getty ImagesKings players celebrate one of their goals during Wednesday's 3-0 win at Calgary.Kings 3, Calgary Flames 0
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: When the Kings needed a victory most, their best player stepped to the forefront. Jonathan Quick established a new franchise record Wednesday night with his ninth shutout of the season, stopping 19 shots in the victory at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The victory, coupled with San Jose’s loss to the Ducks, moved the Kings from ninth to seventh in the Western Conference standings with five games remaining.
THE STAT: One of the most popular figures in franchise history, Rogie Vachon, owned the previous franchise mark of eight shutouts in 1976-77. The shutout is also the 10th of the season for the Kings, which ties a franchise record set in 2000-01.
TURNING POINT: The Kings came out ready and determined, getting three shots on goal in the opening 34 seconds and seven in the first 2:07. On No. 9, defenseman Willie Mitchell sent a slap shot through traffic and into the net 5:30 into the game. The goal was initially given to Justin Williams on a deflection but later awarded to Mitchell, his fifth of the season. Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov received assists on the play.
HOT: The penalty kill turned away all four power plays by the Flames, and Kopitar bounced back from a three-game points drought to record two assists, giving him 16 points in the last 15 games. Kopitar needs one more point in March to match his best month of the season (October).
NOT: Another frustrating night on the power play. The Kings went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage, leaving them one for their last 25. If they should make the playoffs, they won't get away with those numbers and expect to advance.
GOOD MOVE: The team captain Dustin Brown also stepped up and provided the Kings a 2-0 lead with his 20th goal of the season 4:22 into the second period. Drew Doughty got the puck ahead to Brown, who made a smooth drop pass between his legs to a trailing Kopitar. Brown then cut to the slot and Kopitar made a nice centering pass. Brown held onto the puck as he skated backwards with his left hip facing the goalie, then let go of a well-placed wrist shot that beat Miikka Kiprusoff cleanly. Brown has scored at least 20 goals in five straight seasons.
BAD MOVE: Mike Richards finished 3-for-13 in the faceoff circle and went without a point for the fourth consecutive game.
NOTABLE: The Kings received some additional good news when Vancouver held on Wednesday night to beat the Avalanche, 1-0, and keep Colorado two points behind the Kings in 10th. ... The Flames pulled Kiprusoff with about 2 ½ minutes remaining and Williams scored an unassisted empty-net goal with 1:09 left on the clock, his 19th of the season. Williams is looking for his fourth 20-goal season ... the Kings won both games in Calgary for the first time in 11 years.
UP NEXT: Friday at Edmonton, 6:30 p.m. PT