Kings make it easy for rookie in 8-2 win
A blowout victory at home does not happen often for the Kings, but that was the case Thursday night when goaltender Jonathan Quick made his NHL debut and led the team to an 8-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.
Quick, recalled from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League on Sunday, was sharp in stopping 15 of 17 shots for the Kings, who ended a three-game losing streak with only their third victory since Nov. 15.
“I thought that I played well. Good enough to get the win,” said Quick, who had a 1-2 record with a 2.67 goals-against average for the Monarchs.
“It’s a lot easier with the support the team gave me.”
The Kings, who suffered a 4-1 loss at Phoenix on Wednesday, dominated from start to finish, outshooting Buffalo, 33-17, and registering their highest scoring output of the season.
The No. 1 line of Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri and Anze Kopitar had a big game, combining for 10 points. Brown scored his 12th and 13th goals and added an assist, Cammalleri scored his 14th goal and picked up two assists and Kopitar finished with four assists.
But it wasn’t just the top line that got things done for the Kings, who received offensive production from some unlikely sources against the Sabres.
Jaroslav Modry and Derek Armstrong each scored their first goal of the season, Michael Handzus scored his second and Tom Priessing, who had been a healthy scratch the previous two games, scored twice to give him three on the season.
“It was a complete night for us,” said Armstrong, who added an assist. “Brownie, Koppie and Cammie were dynamite. When your best line is that good . . . it makes things easier. It was a great effort for the entire time. It was a good win for us.”
Buffalo goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, who had not started since shutting out Montreal on Nov. 24, had a night to forget. He gave up four goals in 14 shots in the first period and was replaced by Ryan Miller, who suffered a 4-1 loss to the Ducks on Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the Sabres, Miller did not offer much improvement as he gave up four goals in 19 shots.
Quick, selected by the Kings in the third round of the 2005 draft, lost his shutout in the second period. Forward Drew Stafford scored for the Sabres at 12:43 to cut the Kings’ lead to 7-1.
Thomas Vanek scored for Buffalo (12-13-1) in the third period.
The Kings (11-15-2) won for the first time in December. They have picked up only seven points over their last 11 games and will continue their three-game homestand against Phoenix on Saturday. They play host to Vancouver on Monday.