Never in doubt, right? The Los Angeles Kings looked a lot more like our old, familiar Kings tonight, getting a bunch of shots and even a couple goals to go with it! The offense was clicking, and Jonathan Quick made sure that they didn't have too much pressure, earning his record-breaking 33rd shutout in a 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
The Kings had four days to think about how rough their last two games were, and it was no surprise to see them come flying out of the gates. In fact, the very first shift led to an offensive cycle, a scoring chance, and a Buffalo penalty. (If you want to chalk it up to that shift being Muzzin's first of the season, I'll allow it.) Darryl Sutter shrugged and threw That 70s Line out on the ice, and with Tanner Pearson screening and Tyler Toffoli providing the secondary assist, Jeff Carter's wrist shot beat Jhonas Enroth on the short side seven seconds in to the power play.
With 59 minutes and 24 seconds remaining in the game, the outcome was already sort of assumed. That didn't stop Enroth from trying to keep his team in it, on a night that eventually belonged to his opposing number. Enroth racked up 37 saves, many of them spectacular, as the Kings peppered him with shots. The top six, in particular, were terrific; while the Pearson-Carter-Toffoli line was as dangerous as ever, the best possession numbers belonged to the modified top line. Dwight King joined Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown tonight, and they consistently started up cycles and dominated the offensive zone. They didn't end up finding a goal together, but they at least earned a chance to stay together for a while.
In fact, no one scored at even strength, with Brown's shot off the crossbar in the third being the closest any player came to a 5-on-5 tally. The Kings' second goal was another power play tally, as Anze Kopitar was removed from the half-wall and placed on the point to great effect. He executed a splendid give-and-go with Jeff Carter while driving in from the point, and the one-timer squirmed through Enroth with five minutes to go in the second. Did I mention that Kopitar had a really good game? At any rate, two power play goals for the Kings was very nice, and I hope it happens more this season. The bottom six needed some work (and I'm not sure Andy Andreoff is gonna work out on the third line), but the new defensive pairings were all pretty effective on the whole.
As for Quick? Tonight was his 33rd career shutout, and of course, his 33rd with the Kings. That's one better than Rogie Vachon. Just for the record, Vachon's came in 389 games, while Quick's came in 341 (and counting). It's impossible to compare across eras, but Quick was already the most decorated goaltender in Kings history, and in the next couple years he should grab the records for longevity in a Kings uniform as well. But let's not get ahead of ourselves; congrats to Mr. Quick!