Jonathan Quick served up a stellar performance in the Kings’ 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
Quick, registering his 39th career NHL shutout and second of the season, was downright phenomenal, stopping each and every one of the 45 shots Montreal fired his way. Quick’s 45 saves were a season-high, as were Montreal’s 45 shots taken.
The Kings were outshot handily in the first, 18-7, but escaped into the second knotted in a scoreless tie.
With just over five minutes left to play in the second, Drew Doughty drove home the game’s opening marker, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Toffoli, while trying to create opportunity with the puck in Montreal’s zone, was hounded by Canadiens, and dished the puck to safety, finding Drew Doughty alone atop the right point. Doughty, upon corralling the puck, fired a slap shot that beat Montreal’s Mike Condon high to the blocker side. Michael Mersch created a helpful screen for Doughty’s shot to find its way through the Canadiens’ goaltender.
A mere 1:35 minutes after Doughty’s goal, he set up the Kings’ second of the evening, finding Anze Kopitar
with a gorgeous back-door feed to up the lead to 2-0.
Marian Gaborik, with control of the puck behind Montreal’s net, found Doughty, who had crept down to the top of the right circle, with a pass. Doughty, with great vision, found Anze Kopitar streaking to Mike Condon’s back-door with a cross-ice pass, which Kopitar buried for his ninth goal of the season.
Entering the third with a 2-0 lead, Jonathan Quick
continued to be the game’s storyline, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes to keep a frustrated Montreal offense off the board.
Marian Gaborik tacked on an empty-net goal with 49 seconds to play to give the Kings a 3-0 lead, the night’s eventual final score.
The Kings, who have had a frustrating history in regular season visits to Montreal, made their 70th of such Thursday night, upping their all-time mark to 10-49-0-11.
Drew Doughty (1G, 1A) and Marian Gaborik (1G, 1A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Anze Kopitar in shots taken (4), Jake Muzzin, Milan Lucic and Michael Mersch in hits delivered, Brayden McNabb, Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (25:06). Jonathan Quick made 45 saves in the win.
The Kings will finish off their six-game road trip Saturday night when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 4:30 PM PST.