Kings shut down Flames in 3-0 win
Thursday, 03.29.2012 / 12:07 AMCALGARY --
While bettering his team's chances of making the playoffs, one Sutter may well have ended the season of another.
stopped 19 shots to establish a club record with his ninth shutout as Darryl Sutter's Los Angeles Kings
beat Brent Sutter's Calgary Flames
3-0 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday -- returning the Kings into the top eight in the Western Conference while putting a huge dent in the younger Sutter's playoff aspirations.
"Obviously they're brothers and I think Darryl is satisfied with the way we played tonight and probably Brent is not so satisfied with his team," said L.A.'s Anze Kopitar
, who finished with a pair of assists. "We're here to take two points and I don't think there was anything personal between them."
Quick's nine shutouts this season breaks the Kings' single-season record of eight, a mark he had shared with Rogie Vachon, who did it in 1976-77.
"I think nothing but the best about Rogie and what he's done for this organization," Quick said. "I feel like it was kind of a – not to say it in a bad way – but like a matter of time just because of the way the game's going, how defensive-minded it is and how goals are so hard to come by nowadays."
Flame forward Michael Cammalleri
, an ex-King, has heard nothing but praise out of his former club on Quick's play.
"Obviously I played in L.A. and I know some guys that are there – some staff and stuff, and that's all they can do is rave about him," Cammalleri said. "As a player I don't like to give goalies very much respect. That's kind of ... I feel like it's the kiss of death, but hat's off to him for the season he's had. He's done a fantastic job."
Los Angeles jumped up to seventh in the wild Western Conference race with 88 points. The Kings are even with San Jose, a 3-1 loser at Anaheim that has one fewer non-shootout win, and one point ahead of idle Phoenix, which hosts the Sharks on Thursday. The Flames, who have won just once in their last six games, dropped three points behind the Kings and Sharks and with only four games remaining on their schedule, their playoff hopes were severely diminished.
"You lose a game, obviously it diminishes it," Brent Sutter said. "We're not out of it yet. Obviously you have to run the table and you're going to need some help."
The Kings came out firing, putting six shots on Miikka Kiprusoff
in the opening minutes. They broke through at 5:30 on a pinch by Slava Voynov
that led to Willie Mitchell
's blast from the point that beat Kiprusoff for the 1-0 lead.
Another Kings defenseman nearly put Los Angeles up by two. With Scott Hannan
in the box for interference, Drew Doughty
wired a one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle off a Jarret Stoll
feed on which Kiprusoff made a dazzling glove save with 4:57 remaining in the period.
Quick wasn't about to be outdone. Jarome Iginla
won a faceoff forward, allowing Alex Tanguay
to swoop in and pick up the puck. Tanguay pulled the puck to his backhand while skating through the top of the crease, but couldn't lift it over the pad of the sprawled netminder.
The Kings tested Kiprusoff's glove again in the second. Picking up a Tom Kostopoulos
turnover at the blue line, Jordan Nolan
walked into the slot and let a shot go that found Kiprusoff's trapper 3:15 into the period.
The third time was the charm. Dustin Brown
dropped the puck to Kopitar after gaining the blue line, moved into the slot and took a return feed before putting the puck underneath Kiprusoff's glove to give the Kings a 2-0 lead at 4:22 of the second.
The Flames couldn't get momentum to swing their way in the third, mustering just four shots on Quick despite facing near elimination. Content to protect the lead, the Kings stifled any offensive creativity the Flames could muster. Brent Sutter pulled Kiprusoff with 2:25 remaining in regulation, but the move backfired as Justin Williams
put the puck into the empty net with 1:09 left to wrap up the win.
"You always expect a little more than four shots," Quick said. "It's a credit to the way the guys played in front of me. They were solid all night long as far as defensively goes."
The Kings now control their own playoff destiny.
"It's so tight," Darryl Sutter said. "What's the difference between six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11? One inch. That's the way it is.
"It's in your own hands. That's the way we want it."