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Kings blank Flames in Quick's return from Sochi

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- There was no Olympic hangover for Jonathan Quick.

In his first start since returning from the Sochi Olympics, Quick turned aside 25 shots Thursday night to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 victory against the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

"I haven't played since Saturday so I've had plenty of rest," Quick said. "Your goalie needs to make some saves for you. I was just trying to make some saves. We got the win."

Dustin Brown, who played with Quick on the U.S. team that finished fourth in Sochi, scored 3:00 into the game. Dwight King added an insurance goal 3:30 into the third period.

Quick, who backed up Martin Jones in the Kings' 6-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday, went 2-2 with a 2.17 goals against average and .923 save percentage in Sochi. He was flawless against the Flames, helping Los Angeles snap Calgary's five-game winning streak at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary hadn't been beaten in its own building since a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 16.

"I thought we were pretty good. I really do," Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. "I thought we were sharp. We had great energy. Those bad breaks are [going to] happen. Two goals against, you can take that on most nights. Our mistakes got magnified tonight because their goalie didn't give up one."

The win gives the Kings back-to-back victories coming out of the Olympics. Los Angeles stumbled heading into the break, winning just two of 10. They have a five-point lead on the Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks for third in the Pacific Division.

"It's that point of the year," Quick said. "We're tight in the standings and we've got to get wins so it was good to get a win tonight. We're trying to win hockey games like everyone else in the league. We were able to win the last two games here and we've got another one Saturday afternoon [against the Carolina Hurricanes] we've got to get ready for now."

Calgary rookie Joni Ortio made 22 saves in his first NHL game. Ortio, a 22-year-old who was recalled last week from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League and has also seen time with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL, is the youngest goalie to debut for the Flames since Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Feb. 12, 2000.

"Awesome experience, despite the result," Ortio said. "It wasn't the one we were looking for, but I think we played a good hockey game and just couldn't capitalize on our chances. That was pretty much the bottom line."

The Kings wasted little time welcoming Ortio to the NHL. Brown jabbed the puck between his legs and into the net on L.A.'s second shot of the game after Kris Russell coughed up the puck.

Quick kept Calgary scoreless through the opening 20 minutes. He used his right pad to stop Mikael Backlund's redirection of Giordano's point shot five minutes into the game, got his left pad on Chris Butler's one-timer off a feed from Jiri Hudler seven minutes later and stopped Hudler's tip with four minutes remaining in the period.

After eight saves in the first period, Quick made 15 in a scoreless second period. His best stops came midway through the period with the teams skating 4-on-4. Giordano slid down from the point but couldn't beat Quick, but Matt Stajan corralled the rebound. He fired a slap shot from the slot that Quick got a piece of before Anze Kopitar batted the rebound out of mid-air and out of harm's way.

"I thought we got outplayed quite a bit the first two periods," said Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, who played his first game in Calgary since being traded by the Flames on June 25, 2011. "We didn't really have much offensive zone time and that was a combination of things. We didn't do a very good job of coming out of our zone and through the neutral zone.

"The first star of the game was Jonathan, no doubt about it. When we were on our heels a little bit, he made the saves we needed him to. He was great tonight."

The Kings, who improved to 17-0-0 when leading after two periods, extended their lead when Brown's pass from below the goal line found an open King alone in the slot. Ortio stopped his initial shot, but King poked the rebound across the goal line to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead.

The Kings made life easier for Quick the rest of the way, outshooting Calgary 11-2 in the final 20 minutes.

"That's the kind of game we want to play, that third period," Quick said. "It's a solid road third period. You don't give up much and you make them work to gain zones. Scoring a goal there at the beginning of the period was huge to give us a little bit more of a gap. It was a great third period, exactly what we were looking for."

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