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Quick, Kings blank Red Wings for eighth straight win

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- Goaltending and defense are the foundation for the Los Angeles Kings, and it's operating at a level where it can give the NHL's top-ranked power-play unit five chances and still come away with a shutout.

Goalie Jonathan Quick made 20 saves, Justin Williams scored the only goal of the game and the Kings extended their winning streak to eight games with a 1-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Staples Center on Tuesday.

"You win one, you win two, you feel a little bit more confident again, and we knew just because we were in the position before, a streak like this would pull us out of that hole," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "Now we broke even, but now we've got to keep going like this."

Quick recorded his 35th career shutout and the Kings shut down the Red Wings' No. 1 power play (0-for-5). The Kings (29-18-12) matched their win streak from Feb.6-March 10 of last season and are one win shy of tying their record of nine in a row in the 2009-10 season.

Los Angeles was five points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference before the streak; the Kings now reside in third place in the Pacific Division. Their special teams have underscored their streak with 15 straight penalties killed. Quick made a glove save on Gustav Nyquist during a Red Wings power play in the third period to preserve the shutout. Defensemen Drew Doughty played 5:31 shorthanded in the game.

"We took away time and space, we were good up ice and we were good through the neutral zone," Quick said of the penalty kill.

Quick has a .940 save percentage and 1.63 goals-against average during the streak. He backstopped the 200th shutout in Kings history, and Williams had an inkling that it would come.

"It just feels like some nights, where you look at him, and you look the saves he makes, and you think, 'You know what? He's not going to let anyone score tonight,'" Williams said. "He's been a rock, certainly throughout this winning streak, and he'll continue to be. He's got a heavy workload right now, and he's answering the bell like he always does."

The Red Wings (33-15-11) suffered their first regulation loss of a six-game trip (2-1-1). They were playing the second of a back-to-back games, and goalie Jonas Gustavsson made 26 saves in his first start since Nov. 5.

Detroit was held scoreless on three power plays in the second period and had nothing to show for 8:59 of power-play time in the first 42 minutes. The Red Wings' best scoring chance came when Stephen Weiss missed an open net after Quick strayed from his goal.

"We weren't together," Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader said. "We didn't make our adjustments right away like we should have. We kept pucks on the walls, which is where L.A. wants the puck. We need to communicate better. Our power play has won us a lot of games this year, but it's got to come through with at least one goal there."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock cited playing back-to-back, although the Red Wings were 4-1-1 in the second games of those sets. Babcock liked Gustavsson, who couldn't be faulted much, especially after so much time off because of a shoulder injury. Gustavsson wasn't sure if there was enough time left in the season to get his timing and rhythm back.

"It's all about the team, it's not about me," Gustavsson said. "I'm just going to try and take advantage of the opportunities I get and work hard in practice. It's only six weeks or so left in the season, so we'll see what happens. But that's not really my focus. I'm just going to whatever I can when I get the chance, and show that I can be out there. Then we'll see how many chances I get."

Williams scored his 16th goal 2:24 into the game when he tipped a point shot by Jake Muzzin while Drew Miller was serving a holding penalty. The Kings were 1-for-17 on the power play in their previous seven games, and that one goal was scored on an empty net.

Marian Gaborik hit the post in a first period largely controlled by the Kings, who did not allow a shot in the opening six minutes.

Detroit had won the previous four games against the Kings by a combined score of 14-6.

Former Kings forward Tony Granato was honored before the game.

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