LOS ANGELES -- Things were not going Jonathan Quick's way.
The Los Angeles Kings' goalie had given up four goals in the first 34 minutes and 50 seconds of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. But his never-say-die teammates were determined to give him a second chance; they erased a third two-goal deficit and tied the game early in the third period.
Quick took the opportunity at redemption to heart immediately.
Twenty seconds after Marian Gaborik got the Kings even at 4-4, Quick had to make the save of the night to keep the New York Rangers from regaining the lead.
Brad Richards was five feet away from the crease, all alone, the puck on his stick after a pass from Carl Hagelin. But Quick somehow got across his crease with the flash of his left leg to stop the one-timer and kick the rebound past the put-back attempt by Richards.
In a topsy-turvy game that stretched into a second overtime before the Kings won 5-4 on a deflection goal by Dustin Brown at 10:26 of the second extra period, that Quick save was forgotten by many, but was no doubt one of several turning points in the contest.
The Kings lead the best-of-7 series 2-0 as the Final heads to New York for Game 3 on Monday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
The save on Richards was also a personal turning point for Quick, who stopped all 10 shots he faced after allowing Derick Brassard to score the Rangers' fourth goal.
For the second straight game, Quick had allowed the Rangers to take a 2-0 lead, allowing Ryan McDonagh to beat him from long range and for Mats Zuccarello to slam-dunk a shot from the far post in the first period.
In the second period, Martin St. Louis scored on a 2-on-1 break on the power play to give New York a 3-1 lead. Eleven seconds after Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell made it a one-goal game again, Brassard scored on a wrister to make it 4-2 and give the Rangers their third two-goal cushion.
"Some of the goals, especially the first goal, he had zero chance on," said captain Dustin Brown, who scored the game-winning goal. "[Jarret Stoll] had a good lane on it [and] it went through his legs somehow, found its way in the net. They had a few goals where Quicky didn't have a chance."
But after the Brassard goal, Quick said "no more" and backed it up with several brilliant saves, including the one on Richards.
Quick knows his numbers are, for the most part, not pretty. He has a 2.80 goals-against average during this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his save percentage is sliding toward the .900 mark, sitting at .906 after the Gam2 win. But the one number that matters is wins, and Quick now has 14 -- two short of the 16 a team needs to claim the Stanley Cup.
"When you get to this point, it's not about stats," Quick said. "It's not about statistics anytime, to be honest. I think those are just kind of something that people that don't really know the game; it gives them something to judge me off."
Author: Shawn Roarke | Director, Editorial