Detroit’s high-powered offense threw 51 shots at Kings netminder Jonathan Quick but failed to score a single goal on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena. Los Angeles netted five.
This was just the second shutout win against the Wings in LA’s history. The only other time a Kings goalie kept Detroit off the board was when Rogie Vachon did so in 1978.
The Red Wings had not been shut out by the Kings or anyone else since last January.
It was also a strong night offensively for Los Angeles. Along with defenseman Drew Doughty’s three assists, the Kings got one goal apiece from Wayne Simmonds, Oscar Moller, Jack Johnson and two from Anze Kopitar. Just one would have been enough.
Jimmy Howard, minding net at the other end, believed there was no beating Quick.
“Hats off to Quickie. He played a hell of a game. He was in a zone. There was nothing you could do about it. He was stopping everything. I think we could have went all night and he probably still would have gave up zero. He was just in one of those zones.”
Doughty may have put it best:
“Quickie was unbelievable tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a game where a goalie stood on his head like that. It was unbelievable. If we didn’t have him back there, I don’t think we would have won tonight.”
Indeed, Detroit dominated the game in many aspects, except on the scoreboard.
The Red Wings controlled the puck for much of the game, spending a great deal of time around Quick, pelting him with shot after shot. Quick had 26 saves in the second period alone. But nothing got past him.
“Quick was excellent, especially in the second period when we took the two penalties. They threw a lot of rubber at him, said Kings head coach Terry Murray.
After the game, Quick tried to take the spotlight off of his performance.
“Well, it’s great to get those saves, but at the end of the day, those two points is all that matters….It’s a tough rink and a great hockey team, and we had some tremendous goal support. The power play was clicking, the PK was clicking and it was a great team win.”
Even scoring three goals in about seven minutes at the start of the third period was not enough to put the Kings completely at ease.
“…I didn’t want to be the one to make a mistake and ruin the shutout for him,” said Doughty.
Quick’s second shutout of the season (and 10th of his NHL career) earned him first-star status. He was followed by Doughty and Johnson.
Through Wednesday’s game, the dark horse Vezina candidate is third in the NHL in save percentage (.933) and goals against average (1.83) and tied for second in wins (17).