Friday, February 28, 2014
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Kings' Quick makes 25 saves, blanks Flames

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[February 28, 2014]  CALGARY, Alberta -- Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick left Sochi in a sour mood.

He returned to NHL action in a stingy mood.

Quick, who had harsh words for his Team USA mates after a 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze-medal match at the 2014 Winter Olympics, delivered a 25-save shutout Thursday, leading the Kings to a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"The first star of the game was Jonathan, no doubt about it," Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said. "When we were on our heels a little bit, he made the saves we needed him to. He was great tonight."

Left winger Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist and fellow left winger Dwight King also scored for the Kings (33-22-6).

The Flames (22-30-7) failed to provide any offensive support for rookie goalie Joni Ortio, who was making his NHL debut. Ortio finished with 22 saves, but he couldn't match his netminding counterpart as the Kings snapped Calgary's five-game home winning streak.

"He's probably one of the most athletic, if not the most athletic goalie in the league," Ortio said of Quick. "He's unbelievably quick, quick to recover from saves and going from side to side. I think that's what makes him as good as he is."
 


Brown welcomed Ortio to the big leagues with an unassisted goal just three minutes after the opening faceoff. The Kings captain picked up a puck along the boards and bolted toward the net, forcing a shot through Ortio's five-hole from the edge of the crease.

Quick showed impressive reflexes to stop Flames center Mikael Backlund and right winger Jiri Hudler on deflections in the first period, and he also scurried back to his crease to stop right winger David Jones.

He made 15 saves in the second period, highlighted by pad stop on defenseman TJ Brodie's slap shot.

King added an insurance marker at the 3:30 mark of the third period, chopping a shot past Ortio from close range, and the Flames managed just two shots the rest of the way.

Quick didn't have to make any saves in the final 11:47 of the game.

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"That's the kind of game we want to play, that third period," Quick said. "It's a solid road third period -- you don't give up much and you make them work to gain zones. Scoring a goal there at the beginning of the period was huge to give us a little bit more of a gap. It was a great third period, exactly what we were looking for."

Quick, who was the backup Wednesday for the Kings' 6-4 road victory over the Colorado Avalanche, now has four shutouts this season and 29 for his career.

"We just couldn't score," said Flames coach Bob Hartley, who praised the focus of his squad in its first game after the Olympic break. "Quick was real good. A couple of power-play chances, he came out and made some huge saves. It's too bad. I really liked the effort. I liked the focus, the way that we approached the game. We did everything right except scoring goals."

The Kings return home for Saturday's contest against the Carolina Hurricanes at Staples Center, while the Flames head north for a Battle of Alberta against the Edmonton Oilers.

NOTES: Flames D Chris Butler left the game due to a lower-body injury in the third period and did not return. ... Calgary G Joni Ortio and C Markus Granlund both made their NHL debuts against the Kings. Ortio, 22, earned a call-up after posting a 2.22 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 28 appearances for AHL Abbotsford. Granlund, 20, racked up 23 goals and 21 assists in 50 games at the minor league level ... Kings D Robyn Regehr returned to the Scotiabank Saddledome for the first time since the Flames traded him to the Buffalo Sabres in June 2011, and he was saluted with a video tribute during the first period. Regehr, 33, spent 11 seasons with the Flames and ranks second in franchise history with 826 games played. ... Flames LW Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain) and RW Brian McGrattan (shoulder) participated in Thursday's morning skate but are not yet ready to return to the lineup. The Flames also were without G Karri Ramo due to a knee injury ... The Kings' healthy scratches were RW Matt Frattin, D Matt Greene and LW Tanner Pearson.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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