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Kings blank Sabres; Quick sets team shutout record

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- In a game with a family storyline, the Los Angeles Kings turned to a familiar face.

Goalie Jonathan Quick became the Kings' all-time leader in shutouts and Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar scored power-play goals in a 2-0 win Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.

Quick made 29 saves for his 33rd career shutout, one more than Rogie Vachon. Ironically, it was Quick's first game against Buffalo since he injured his groin last season, an injury that sidelined him for two months. Quick has had a much sunnier start to this season; he has stopped 143 of 145 shots in the past four games after his recovery from wrist surgery spilled into the preseason.

"I felt 100 percent confident [coming into the season]," Quick said. "It really wasn't something I was looking to be reassured. If I started out not winning games, it wouldn't have a concern because my wrist. It would have been just trying to figure out the game."

Quick always frames his accomplishments in a team perspective, and it was no different when asked how special it was to pass Vachon.

"Without a doubt," Quick said. "Especially a shutout. It takes 20 men to do that, to shut a team out for 60 minutes. I'm very grateful of my teammates over the years."

Kings coach Darryl Sutter seemed to speak for most when he said of the record, "It's like I said the other night, it was just a matter of time."

Los Angeles has won five in a row after an 0-1-1 start.

Carter continued his line's hot streak; he, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli have accounted for 12 of the Kings' 16 non-shootout goals this season. Kopitar, on the other hand, re-emerged with his second goal this season when he finished a give-and-go with Carter at 15:11 of the second period.

Kings forward Jordan Nolan played against his father, Buffalo coach Ted Nolan, for the first time in an NHL game. But that was the only feel-good aspect for Buffalo (1-7-0), which was shut out for the third time in four games and has scored one goal in that span.

Buffalo can take solace in playing the Kings and Anaheim Ducks closely in back-to-back nights but that won't get help their psyche much with the San Jose Sharks up next on their California trip. The Sabres visit SAP Center on Saturday afternoon.

"We got enough guys in here that have played a lot of hockey games," forward Torrey Mitchell said. "We're just frustrated .Whether or not we're doing the right things and playing well … if we're not getting two points then we didn't do the right things."

Carter's fourth goal of the season came 36 seconds into the game on a wrist shot from the left circle with Pearson screening Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth (37 saves) and defenseman Tyler Myers in the penalty box for hooking.

Myers, who leads the Sabres in ice time, was in the box for both goals and took himself off the ice for a total of 8:52 on the night.

The Kings got an important part of their defense back when defensemanJake Muzzin made his season debut in L.A.'s first game without suspended Slava Voynov. Muzzin, cleared from an upper-body injury Wednesday, played 20:20.

Buffalo, which dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen, was down to 10 forwards when Drew Stafford took a 10-minute misconduct penalty in the first period. Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov made his season debut.

The Sabres went 0-for-3 on the power play and are 0-for-27 this season, the longest slump to begin a season since the New York Rangers went 0-for-32 to start the 2003-04 season. The Kings have killed 17 straight penalties.

"You've got to shoot the puck, and the simpler, the better," Ted Nolan said. "I don't know what you do. We have the group that we have. Drew Stafford's a 20-goal scorer. Matt Moulson's a 20-goal scorer. [Tyler] Ennis is a 20-goal scorer. [Cody] Hodgson's a 20-goal scorer. We can draw it up all we want. We've just got to find a way to get some shots through."

Jordan Nolan played 12:38, considerably higher than his 9:37 average.

"It was a bit strange," Ted Nolan said of coaching against his son. "When he was on the ice, you wanted to watch to see how he did, make sure he does OK because when we talk in our family, playing OK is not good enough. You have to be better than OK, and tonight I thought he was better than OK."

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