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Quick to sit as Kings host Devils

by Mike G. Morreale /
DEVILS (3-2-1) at KINGS (5-1-1)


Season series:
The contest marks the second meeting between the clubs in 13 days. The Devils scored a 2-1 shootout victory in an entertaining matchup at the Prudential Center on Oct. 13 when Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored goals in the penalty-shot tiebreaker while Johan Hedberg stopped Simon Gagne and Anze Kopitar to secure the triumph. Jonathan Quick made 36 saves in defeat for the Kings.

Big story: The Devils continue to be snakebitten by injuries. The team entered the season without the services of top-line center Travis Zajac (torn left Achilles tendon), who's expected to be out for at least another two months. Then, in a victory over the Kings on Oct. 13, they lost goalie Martin Brodeur (shoulder), who is still not 100 percent. In a 4-3 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 21, the Devils lost center Jacob Josefson (fractured right clavicle) for 3-4 months.

Team Scope:

The Devils dropped their second straight game on Saturday in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Patrik Elias scored a shorthanded goal to pull the Devils into a 1-1 tie 1:47 into the third but the Pens then connected for three unanswered goals. Hedberg made 25 saves in the loss for the Devils. Coach Peter DeBoer inserted rookie center Adam Henrique on a line with Mattias Tedenby and David Clarkson in the absence of Josefson.

"I thought he was good," DeBoer said of Henrique following the game. "He was moving his feet. He had some speed. He gave us a jolt of energy. He had a chance to finish one in the first. I thought he was good."

Kings: Quick established a franchise record for the longest shutout streak in Kings' history on Saturday in a 1-0 victory over Dallas and has gone 188:10 without allowing a goal. It looks like those numbers won't change -- coach Terry Murray has decided to go with backup Jonathan Bernier despite Quick's 5-0-1 reocrd, a 0.81 goals-against average and League-best .972 save percentage.

“He’s got to play. Quick can’t play 82 games," Murray said of his decision.  "We've got 17 games here in front of us until the end of the month (of November). Fifteen are conference games. So what do you do? Am I going to wait until December, when we have five Eastern Conference games, and get him in then? He’s got to play. He’s a good goalie and he played great for us in the second half of the year last year. We’ve got a lot of big games right in front of us now, so it’s time to start putting him into some games.

"The decision was made Saturday morning. It’s not like it was after Quick’s third shutout. It was before, to give him a heads-up. It was fair to give him an opportunity to think about it over the weekend, the day off on Sunday, and come in to work hard yesterday in practice. There’s no second-guessing this one for me. It’s just time for him to get playing again.”

Who's hot:
Kings wing Simon Gagne has 3 goals and 7 points in seven games on a line with center Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.

Injury report:
The Devils are without Josefson, Brodeur and Zajac. … Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 16, one night after neing injured in Philadelphia.

Stat pack:
Kovalchuk has a team-leading 6 points, including 2 goals, in six games for the Devils. All his points have been scored in the team's last five contests.

Puck drop:
Doughty is eligible to come off IR, but he was still wearing a yello (no-contact) jersey at Tuesday's morning skate. Murray told KingsInsider that the 21-year-old defenseman is expected to see a doctor on Tuesday and would likely accompany the team to Dallas, where the Kings begin a three-game, four-day trip on Thursday night.
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