It was Jonathan Quick last season. This time it was Jack Campbell.
Great goalie stories seem to spring up in Montreal in October for the Kings. Quick outdueled Carey Price in a 4-0 shutout in Quick’s comeback season of 2017-18. Campbell followed suit Thursday with a 3-0 shutout, his first in the NHL.
It was only the fourth game of the season, but the Kings really needed a win and Campbell and teammates delivered against the Montreal Canadiens.
Here’s what we learned:
Campbell is the most popular player in the room. That was sort of assumed because of his humble, almost goofy personality. It’s also clear that teammates enjoy a good story as the rest of us and Campbell is just that: A former first-round draft pick whose career tumbled and turned around with the Kings.
“I love Jack. We all love Jack,” Alec Martinez said in a television interview. “He works so hard, this year in the offseason. He’s an awesome guy. He’s stepped up to the plate every time we’ve asked him.”
The third line was a charm. The reuniting of Adrian Kempe with Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson resulted in a third-line combination of Jeff Carter with Michael Amadio and Jaret ] Anderson-Dolan.
All that line did was produce two goals and three assists. Carter seems to be getting his legs back after a long-term ankle tendon injury last season, and he’s impressed with Amadio, 22, and Anderson-Dolan, 19.
“Amadio’s a highly-skilled guy, he can make very good plays in the middle and AD’s AD – he works his [butt] off and hunts pucks down and creates turnovers and plays the game the right way,” Carter said.
The power play is still a mess. A win takes a lot of attention away from this but the unit fell to 0-for-13 to start the season. Its first attempt yielded two shorthanded tries by Montreal that were thwarted by Campbell.
Ilya Kovalchuk has gotten more looks – he took eight shots – but is still looking for his first power-play goal. Dion Phaneuf remains at the point in place of Kovalchuk.