CHICAGO -- Jonathan Quick is mortal after all, and Sunday just wasn't his night.
Quick yielded four goals in a little more than 30 minutes of Game 2 against the Chicago Blackhawks in this Western Conference Final at United Center, and the Los Angeles Kings' goaltender found himself in an unfamiliar place of late -- watching his team play during a Stanley Cup Playoff game.
Jonathan Quick - Playoffs
Goalie - LAK
GAA: 1.76 | SVP: 0.940
Kings coach Darryl Sutter pulled Quick after Los Angeles fell behind 4-0. It was the first time Quick yielded more than three goals in a playoff game since 2011, and the first time he was removed from a postseason contest since April 23, 2010.
Los Angeles lost 4-2 and fell behind 2-0 in this best-of-7 series.
"It wasn't [Quick]'s fault. That's for sure," Los Angeles forward Dustin Penner said. "He's the main reason we're here. We felt bad as a team. That's on us that he got pulled. It had nothing to do with him."
For all of the talk about the Blackhawks needing to get traffic in front of Quick, he was undone by three clean looks and an own goal. Breakdowns in front of Quick lead to two of the goals, strong skating by Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook was a big part of one and Bryan Bickell's work in front of the net, plus a little bad luck, led to another.
Quick has been brilliant so often for the Kings in the past two postseasons that an outing like this is quite unexpected. Here's a look at what happened on those goals that led to an early ending for the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner:
1:56, first period: Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy pinched from the left point to help keep the puck in the zone. Brandon Saad attempted a centering pass that wasn't going to connect with anyone, but the puck hit Los Angeles forward Trevor Lewis‘ stick and went to Viktor Stalberg in the slot.
Stalberg made a nice play to Andrew Shaw, who Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez failed to pick as he cut to the net from the right wing. Lewis reached to get a stick on Shaw's shot, but he beat Quick low to the short side. Quick thought Shaw fanned on the shot.
"It went off [Lewis'] stick, and I think it might have even gone off our D's stick short side on [Quick]," Penner said. "Especially two minutes into the game, you can't let that happen.
19:09, first period: Seabrook checked Kings forward Kyle Clifford to the ice in the left corner behind his net, and the Blackhawks went the other way in transition. Jonathan Toews pick up the puck at the Chicago blue line and then entered the offensive zone on a 2-on-2 with Marian Hossa.
Seabrook beat Clifford back into the play and made it a 3-on-2. Hossa dropped the puck for him, and Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi was unable to get out on Seabrook, who beat Quick to the far side with a perfectly-placed shot.
This was probably the goal Quick would like to have back the most. When he is locked in, like during the first period of Game 1, he has been nearly unbeatable on clean looks like that.
"I think [our defensemen] have been active all year long," Chicago's Duncan Keith said. "It's part of our team. I think every team in the League talks about having their defensemen get up and we've got some mobile defense, so that's part of what we do."
7:11, second period: Chicago entered the zone on the power play, and after Quick blockered a shot to his right, the Blackhawks got the puck back to Patrick Sharp at the right point. He found a shooting lane and Bickell was in front to provide a screen.
Quick stopped Sharp's blast, and then the puck hit Bickell in the glove and fell to his feet. Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr tried to chop down on Bickell's stick but he ended up hitting the puck and it squeezed through Quick's legs.
"I think it hit my stick actually and went in," Regehr said. "I was coming back to the net and I saw the defenseman was taking a shot. I tried to get the puck rather than getting the stick, and I think it hit my stick and went in. Gotta tie up the guy a little bit better and let Jonathan find the puck."
9:20, second period: Sharp picked up the puck after two players were battling for it along the right wall in the neutral zone. He caught Martinez flat-footed at the Los Angeles blue line and easily went around the defenseman for a 2-on-1. Sharp sent the puck to Handzus, and the veteran forward beat Quick in about the same spot as Seabrook, albeit from from a differnt angle.
"I played with him a few years, so I've seen that shot before," Quick said. "He has a little bit different of a release. I've seen that before."
Quick has been outstanding for Los Angeles for so long that it will be hard to look at this game as anything more than outlier. It would be hard to fault him on any of the goals, considering three involved some sort of breakdown in front of him and one was put in by his teammate on the power play.
It will take more than one off night to say the Blackhawks have "solved" Quick.
"I don't know, we'll take 'em any way we can get 'em," Toews said.