MONTREAL – Jonathan Quick made an incredible 45 saves and recorded his 39th career shutout as the Los Angeles Kings blanked the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Thursday night at Centre Bell Arena.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The best team in the Eastern Conference welcomed one of the best teams in the Western Conference in the LA Kings on Thursday night, and the game did not disappoint.
The Canadiens were the quicker and better team for most of the game, but a two-minute stretch at the end of the second period was the difference in the game.
Drew Doughty dialed in from long distance when his slapshot found the back of the net with 5:13 remaining in the second period.
Less than two minutes later, Doughty found Anze Kopitar on a one-timer from the left side of the net and the Kings took a 2-0 lead.
Jonathan Quick faced an onslaught of shots in the third and final period as the Canadiens outshot the Kings 45-20 over the course of the game.
With 3:43 remaining in the third period, the Kings were whistled for a penalty and Montreal went on the power play. Montreal head coach Michel Therrien made the decision to pull goalie Mike Condon, and the Canadiens had a 6-on-4 advantage as they looked for a goal that would get them back into the game.
Instead, the Kings killed the penalty and Marian Gaborik scored an empty-net goal with 49 seconds left in the game and the Kings conquered the Eastern Conference leaders.
The Canadiens dominated most of the game, but a two-minute stretch at the end of the second period changed everything. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar scored on back-to-back goals between the 14:47 and 16:22 mark and the team never looked back.
MVP OF THE GAME
Jonathan Quick. The former Conn Smythe trophy winner played one of his best games in net against arguably the best offensive team in the league. Quick made an astounding 45 saves, and is undefeated in regulation when facing 40 or more shots.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Jonathan Quick is 11-0-3 when he faces 40 or more shots in a game.
The Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens met in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final. It was the first time the Kings, led by Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille played for a cup. Unfortunately they fell short of their goal, as the Canadiens won the cup four games to one. Goalie Patrick Roy (now coach of the Colorado Avalanche) was named MVP of the series.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
It was only appropriate.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
"Back off, bro!"
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"I saw a seam-pass to Kopi, and when you give Kopi those types of chances he'll score every time." – LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on his assist on Anze Kopitar's goal.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, is widely considered to be the best in the league between the pipes, is still on IR with a knee injury and did not play in the game.
Jonathan Quick earned his 39th career shutout in the game and is just one more clean sheet away from tying John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek for the most shutouts all-time by an American born goalie.
Los Angeles Kings (20-9-2, 10-5-2 on the road) 1st place in the Pacific Division
Montreal Canadiens (20-10-3, 11-6-2 at home) 1st place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference overall
The Kings complete their six-game road trip with their third consecutive game in Canada when they face off with Toronto Mapleleafs on Saturday at 4:00PM PST.
The Canadiens test against the best in the West continues when they travel to Dallas to face the leader of the Western Conference in the Stars on Saturday at 4:00 PM PST.