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Kings, Blues go the limit; Carter wins it

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

– The Kings faced their biggest test of the season Thursday night after pocketing a pair of lopsided victories days earlier. It was the St. Louis Blues swinging through STAPLES Center – and they pushed the Kings’ efforts to the limit. Though successful, it took the Kings overtime and a shootout to lock down their 1-0 win.

The showcase performer of the night was Jonathan Quick, who snubbed all 43 shots St. Louis threw his way, and nixed all three of the Blues’ shootout attempts. Quick has allowed only one goal in the past two games, making a combined 74 saves in the two wins.

“It feels good,” Quick said following the shutout win. “They’re a great team, so to get two points against them, whether you’re at home or on the road, it’s always difficult.”

Quick’s shutout, the 32nd of his NHL career, ties him with Rogie Vachon as the franchise leader in shutouts. Quick, though, isn’t worried about the stats, emphasizing that it’s only the wins that matter.

Shutouts will help that.

“To be put in that category with [Rogie] alongside all of those statistics – I don’t buy into many statistics,” Quick said. “The wins are what we all care about.”

The Kings were heavily outshot, by a higher than 2-to-1 margin, only getting 18 shots on St Louis’ Brian Elliott.

They were coming in a busy team, while the Blues were running on fresh legs, not having played in four days.

“We were a tired team,” Darryl Sutter noted following the game. “I think we played four in six days, and they were a team that hadn’t played in a few days. Anybody that has played a contact sport knows that one team is going to have more energy than the other one.”

The Kings, by way of the shootout, were able to hold up Quick's shutout via a Jeff Carter goal in the first round. It was Carter's fourth shootout-deciding goal of his career. In 42 career shootout attempts, Carter has scored 12 times.

Granted four power plays on the evening, the Kings were unable to score on any and all of those opportunities. The Kings’ only power play goal this season came against the Edmonton Oilers, they’re 1-for-18 so far on the season.

They continue to be solid on the penalty kill, having killed off four infractions Thursday night, and now nine in a row – an impressive turnaround after surrendering three power play goals in their first two games.

Anze Kopitar led the team in shots (3), Matt Greene, Dustin Brown, and Dwight King in hits (4), Slava Voynov in blocked shots (5), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (30:47).

With the win, the Kings are now 17-4-0 against St. Louis in their last 21 regular season and playoff meetings. The Kings have now also won a franchise record five straight games against the Blues.

The Kings are now 3-0-0 on their current six-game home stand, 3-1-1 on the season, and will next welcome the Minnesota Wild to STAPLES Center for a Sunday matinee matchup. The puck is slated to drop at 12:00PM PT.

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