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Quick uses shutout to set Kings' victory mark

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- One of the first people Jonathan Quick saw in the dressing room after his win Saturday was former Los Angeles Kings goalie Rogie Vachon, resplendent in a black-on-black suit.

Vachon sat next to Quick during Quick's media session, and it was probably the most Quick has smiled in a long time, at least in front of reporters. The memorable moments came after Quick passed Vachon for the most wins in Kings history with a 24-save, 4-0 victory against the Florida Panthers at Staples Center.

Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr retrieved the puck afterward. Quick, who has 172 regular-season wins, said he keeps such mementos in a couple of different places.

"I've been very fortunate up to this point in my career," Quick said. "You get a couple little things that you hang on to, and you put in the attic, and you get to show your grandkids when you're a little older."

Quick impressed Vachon with arguably the highlight save of the NHL season when he reached to his left and somehow gloved a backhand attempt by Tomas Fleischmann 3:04 into the second period. The save appropriately highlighted a win Quick said he'll appreciate after he's done playing.

"Without a doubt," said Quick, who is 172-115-31. "Even in the summertime, where you have time to decompress and look back on the year and really get a full understanding on what you're able to be a part of with the guys."

It was Quick's 30th NHL shutout, two behind Vachon for No. 1 in Kings history.

Los Angeles also got contributions from its fourth line; center Mike Richards and usual grinder Trevor Lewis scored in the first period.

The one drawback in the conclusion of the five-game homestand was that captain Dustin Brown left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury, according to the Kings. Brown played four shifts in the second period, when he scored his 13th goal of the season.

Fleischmann was following up a shot off the boards by Dmitry Kulikov on a Florida power play. The play was reviewed to see if Quick brought the puck across the plane of the goal line in his glove. Some of the home crowd gave the 28-year-old a standing ovation upon seeing the replay.

"I knew it was close," Quick said. "It happened so quickly, you're just trying to get a body part in front of it. I knew it was close. I figured they'd take a look at it."

Vachon marveled at the play afterward.

"His ability to move from one side to the other is absolutely phenomenal, and I've never said that before," Vachon said. "That save he made today in the second period, from one side to … the other side and grab it. Very rarely are you going to see that in the League, even now."

The outstretched glove of Quick might as well have been a reminder that no Western Conference team wants to play the Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Los Angeles would be even more formidable if Richards can get going again.

Richards took a pass from Lewis in the corner, drove to the net and slipped it five-hole on Florida goalie Roberto Luongo with 2:44 left in the first period while he avoided defenseman Brian Campbell.

It was exactly the type of play the Kings would like to see more of from Richards, who has 10 goals on the season but four since Thanksgiving. Richards went through a 23-game drought earlier this season.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter put Richards on a line with Lewis and Kyle Clifford to shake Richards and Jeff Carter out of slumps. Carter had an assist on a third-period goal by Alec Martinez.

"[We] had a little luck and leverage with Jeff to be able to move him around … play the young guys together and keep them away from the top guys, so hopefully that will translate out on the road," Sutter said. "We'll see."

Lewis played one of his best periods of the season in the first and scored his fifth goal to finish a great possession. He whacked the puck in from the high slot at 11:03 after it bounced off Clifford. Lewis circled up top with the puck before he went to the net.

Luongo received little support from his defense and finished 0-3-1 with 13 goals allowed against the Kings this season, with the other games for the Vancouver Canucks. Luongo stopped 72 of 76 shots in his previous two starts.

Luongo is familiar with the Kings from the postseason and said Quick was especially focused.

"He was on top of his game tonight," Luongo said. "You could see that he was feeling it. I don't know if we would ever gotten a puck by him tonight. It was one of those nights where you can see that he sees everything, and even ones he doesn't see, he finds a way to make a save."

Panthers coach Peter Horachek is breaking in young players. He said they are learning a lesson on this trip that started with a split against the San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes and ends with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

"I think the West is obviously a bigger, stronger division," Horachek said. "The systems are tighter; defensively they're better. The teams out here in California are all very skilled but big. You know L.A. plays that strong defensive game, and they're a big team … they do things the right way."

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