It’s the nature of hockey players to be humble and put team achievements before their own, and in that regard Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick had a typically low-key reaction to his extraordinary performance Saturday.
Quick broke the club record for consecutive shutout minutes near the end of the Kings’ 1-0 victory over Dallas and extended his streak to 188 minutes 10 seconds. The previous record of 184:55 was set by Rogie Vachon from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1, 1975.
“The defense, penalty killing and defensive zone coverage has been great over the past couple of games, and it has made my job a lot easier,” Quick said after the Kings won their fourth in a row.
“It is a great thing, but I’ve never been a guy to look at numbers, shutouts, save percentage, that kind of stuff. Obviously it’s good to have good numbers, but I feel like goalies, you judge them if you win or lose. That’s what’s really most important to me. That’s what’s most important to the team.
“It feels great to get the win. To get it in that fashion is a little icing on top.”
Although Quick won’t dwell on his numbers, they deserve attention.
He is the first Kings goalie to record three straight shutouts. The last time any NHL goalie had more than three consecutive shutouts was 2003-04, when Brian Boucher recorded five in a row for Phoenix. The NHL record for the longest scoreless sequence by a goalie is 461:29 by Alec Connell of Ottawa in 1927-28, when forward passing wasn’t permitted in attacking zones.
Quick was last beaten on a power-play goal by Matt Carle at 13:29 of the third period at Philadelphia on Oct. 15, a game the Kings won 1:39 into overtime. He stopped 27 shots in a 5-0 rout of the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center, 28 in a 2-0 victory over the Coyotes at Glendale, Ariz., and 28 by the Stars on Saturday at home, working without a cushion until Jack Johnson scored on a 60-foot slap shot at 15:02 of the third period.
The last two goals Quick has given up — to Carle and to Daniel Briere in the first period at Philadelphia — were produced during power plays. Quick has not yielded an even-strength goal since Patrik Elias bested him at 13:03 of the first period at New Jersey on Oct. 13.
Quick’s goals-against average of 0.81 in six games ranks second in the NHL to the 0.72 compiled by Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin in four games. Quick is tops in save percentage at .972 (175 of 180) and shutouts, with three.
The crowd was still buzzing about Quick’s historic feats when he put the matter behind him and began preparing for a matchup Tuesday against the Devils.
“It does mean a lot to have that record now,” he said, “but at the same time we’re in the middle of the season here and you quickly forget about it and you move on and you focus on the next game.”
And, maybe, the next record.