NHL pluses and minuses: Kings, Ducks benefit from great goaltending

Jonathan Quick
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick looks on during a stoppage in play in the team’s shutout win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the past week:

+ There’s some terrific goaltending going on in Southern California. Jonathan Quick of the Kings stopped 114 of 116 shots in defeating Edmonton, St. Louis (by shutout) and Minnesota — and he had to be good because his teammates scored two goals in those last two games. Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen earned his first NHL shutout Sunday and is 4-0-0 with a 1.22 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in his last four starts.

+ Forward Henrik Zetterberg was a one-man wrecking crew in the Detroit Red Wings’ sweep of a home-and-home set against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had four assists in a 4-1 road victory on Friday and scored the only goal in a 1-0 overtime victory at home Saturday. He has a goal and six points in Detroit’s first five games.

+ Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos seems to have recovered from the broken leg he suffered last Nov. 11, an injury that kept him off the Canadian Olympic team. He had five goals and seven points in his first five games, though he said he’s not 100% yet. Imagine what he might do when he’s at full strength.


- The Colorado Avalanche lost two goalies Thursday. No. 1 Semyon Varlamov couldn’t play because of a groin injury and backup Reto Berra was hurt in a goal-mouth collision, leaving Calvin Pickard to lose to Ottawa. But Coach Patrick Roy said the team isn’t ready to call unsigned Martin Brodeur and will instead go with kids Pickard and Sami Aittokallio.

- Boston forward Milan Lucic was fined $5,000 by the NHL for making an obscene gesture toward the crowd in Montreal on Thursday. The Bruins-Canadiens rivalry is emotional, but Lucic — who allegedly threatened Montreal’s Alexei Emelin and Dale Weise after Boston lost the teams’ playoff series last season — crossed the line again.

- Center Brad Richards was scoreless in his first four games with the Blackhawks, but there’s no reason for Chicago fans to panic. He’s still adjusting to a new team and trying to find his rhythm in an early schedule that has given the Blackhawks long breaks between games.

Get our daily Sports Report newsletter