Jonathan Quick helps Kings end skid in 1-0 victory over Sharks
SAN JOSE — From a game-opening backhand he gloved while sprawling to the game-ending threat he denied with his left leg pad, goalie Jonathan Quick gave the Kings the best response possible to their recent slump.
A shutout. In San Jose.
Anze Kopitar’s late second-period goal stood up Monday as the Kings delivered a signature 1-0 victory over the division-rival Sharks at SAP Center to snap their five-game losing streak and end a scoreless drought at 154 minutes 43seconds.
The Kings (30-18-6) hadn’t won a regular-season game in San Jose since Dec.27, 2010.
“We needed one like this to break out of the slump,” Kopitar said. “Sometimes you need a game or an opponent like San Jose, a heavy game, playoff-type atmosphere. There was certainly that out there, and we were able to get the two points.”
Quick, who made 23 saves, had high praise for the players in front of him for killing off three power plays and limiting the Sharks (34-13-6) to nine shots through two periods.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene said the team stayed true to its typical defense-minded style but “wanted to bear down a little more,” following Saturday’s 3-0 Stadium Series loss to the Ducks.
San Jose had won six straight games, scoring 17 goals during the blitz.
“You play to stop everything every game. If you don’t think you will, you probably won’t last long in this league,” Quick said after his third shutout of the season. “Good win, couple PKs, … huge win for us in this building.
“We’re used to seeing [nine shots] in the first 10 minutes in this building. They’re good at getting pucks in the net early. Not the typical game a goalie sees in this building.”
Kopitar’s wait off a pass from Jeff Carter allowed San Jose goalie Alex Stalock to slide out of position, with Kopitar sending a shot to the goalie’s right — easing the pain of a night when he was clipped in the mouth with a stick and hit the post when the net was empty.
As the Kings’ scoreless rut halted, Stalock’s team-record shutout streak of 178:55 ended in the same moment, with 2:04 remaining in the second.
Kopitar’s patience on the play was admirable given the hair-pulling near misses the Kings tolerated in getting to that point. Only three minutes earlier, Kings forward Dwight King deflected a blue-line shot by defenseman Jake Muzzin off the post to Stalock’s right.
Their angst with the puck as the NHL’s 26th-ranked offense was tempered by their success in denying it from San Jose, particularly Greene, Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr.
“Just tried to keep the pucks up … out of our zone,” Greene said.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said the effort was like “the way we’ve been playing” in two losses to the Ducks, and three others on the road. “You just don’t get the results all the time.
“We don’t score many goals, so you’ve got to make big saves, bear down on defense. It’s a tough building to get two points. You can work hard here and get none.”
When: 6 PST.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 1150.
Etc.: The Kings have split two meetings with the Coyotes, who are behind Minnesota for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Mike Ribeiro has two goals and three assists in the last five games for Phoenix .
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