Jonathan Quick, Kings too much for Florida Panthers
03/23/2014 12:01 AM
03/23/2014 1:53 AM
There was no beating Jonathan Quick on Saturday, just like many before it.
Quick set the Kings' franchise record for wins Saturday afternoon by making 24 saves in Los Angeles' 4-0 win over the Panthers at Staples Center.
The MVP of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Quick earned up his 172nd win to pass Rogie Vachon — who held the record since 1978 without benefit of shootouts much less overtime sessions.
“I wish I would’ve set the bar a little higher,” Vachon said. “He’s playing great and is going to set some incredible records before his career is over. He’s going to set some records that I think no other goalie in the league will ever touch.”'
The Kings outscored the Panthers 7-0 in their two wins this season. Florida was shut out for the fifth time. St. Louis and Los Angeles account for four of those blankings.
The shutout was Quick’s fifth this season and 30th of his career. Quick is now within two shutouts of tying Vachon for the franchise lead in that category as well.
“He was on top of his game. You could see he was feeling it,”' Florida’s Roberto Luongo said. “I don't know if we would have ever got a puck by him [Saturday]. It was one of those games where he sees everything. Even the ones he didn’t see he stopped.”
The Panthers offered a few challenges Saturday but none bigger than a Tomas Fleischmann shot with Florida trailing 2-0 in the second.
Fleischmann, who has been a victim of bad puck luck all season, had a wide-open net when he fired an odd-angled shot.
Quick’s left arm shot though the air, however, his glove snapping the puck out of the air just before it crossed the line. Hockey Central in Toronto reviewed the play to see if Quick’s glove went over the line, and his grand larceny was rewarded with the save.
“He just robbed me,” said Fleischmann, who has seven goals this season and has had great scoring chances snuffed out by terrific saves all year.
“I saw an empty net and then all I saw was a glove. I wasn’t happy about it. It was a big game-changer [Saturday]. We made it easy on him, our shots were too far out. You can see he’s one of the best goalies in the league. It was 2-0 and he made the save.”
Florida watched the Kings make it 3-0 in the second on a Dustin Brown goal not long after Fleischmann was robbed by Quick’s glove.
That was just about that.
“He’s one of the best goalies in the league,” Panthers coach Peter Horachek said. “It’s a big difference if it’s 2-1 right there, then they go out and get the third goal. It’s a big difference, changes the momentum of the game.”
LONG TIME AGO
Luongo said he didn’t recall the last time Florida won in Los Angeles, although, believe it or not, he was there for it.
Florida has lost five in a row in L.A. since beating the Kings 5-2 on Nov. 27, 2002. Janis Hurme, playing in place of Luongo that night, earned first-star honors with 32 saves.
Florida, coached by Mike Keenan, got goals from Ivan Novoseltsev, Kristian Huselius, Andreas Lilja, Sandis Ozolinsh and Viktor Kozlov.
“It’s been a while,” said Luongo, who won a few games in Los Angeles in his eight seasons with Vancouver since leaving the Panthers in 2006.
“They’re a good team, especially in their building. They’ve won the Cup; they know what they’re doing.”• Sean Bergenheim was back in the lineup after missing five games with an undisclosed injury.
“He was going to let us know when he was ready,” Horachek said. “He came off and had some opportunities. His line was the better line, had some shots out there.”• Horachek said backup goalie Dan Ellis would start for the Panthers on Sunday in Anaheim. Ellis has played once (lost in Tampa) since coming over from Dallas in a trade for Tim Thomas on March 5.
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