Recap: Quick, Kings Survive (An) Avalanche
Jonathan Quick stands his ground under a barrage of shots while the second line continues to work.
Defensively speaking, it wasn't the best night for the Los Angeles Kings, though I suppose it could've been worse? They surrendered 43 shots on goal and gave up a grand total of 54 shot attempts against to the Colorado Avalanche. Oh and then there was this:
Jonathan Quick's save % Overall EV scoring chances: #Avs 14 #LAKings 9. By period COL 4-6-4, LAK 1-6-2— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) February 19, 2015
So, not the best night overall for LA's team defense but they were buoyed by an excellent effort from Jonathan Quick who stopped 42 shots while Tyler Toffoli notched his team leading 19th goal of the season.
Alright so LA pulled a Colorado on Colorado. And while it's slightly disappointing that they couldn't dominate a bad team like the Avs, it's nice that they were able to get the goaltending when they needed it most.
After a first period rocket from Gabriel Landeskog, Quick shut the door and remained hyperfocused throughout the whole game. He was especially excellent on the penalty kill in the third period after Matt Duchene leaned over, grabbed Nick Shore's stick and somehow drew a penalty.
Oh right, speaking of Shore, this was a homecoming for the rookie who is a Denver native and grew up rooting for the Avs.
Back to the game. There was two seconds left in Shore's penalty when Robyn Regehr boarded Zach Redmond. The Kings were actually extremely fortunate on the second kill as Colorado had a lot of trouble hitting the net (seriously, like all their shots went wide). But with three seconds left on the power play, Quick made probably his biggest save of the night on Alex Tanguay who had been staring at an empty net.
1. Jonathan Quick wants make sure you're aware that he's still better than all of you. #LAKings #SixSaves pic.twitter.com/0lIuMejcNo— Greg Balloch (@GregBalloch) February 19, 2015
So in what could've been a crucial goal to give up to turn the momentum, Quick went all Matrix-y and was like "nah, bro."
It may have seemed like it, but LA didn't spend the whole night in their own zone. Trevor Lewis, yes Lewis, continued his strong run of play of late setting Toffoli's game winner with a lovely feed in the N.F.A. zone. After the puck leaked through Quick, Lewis picked up the puck and led a 2-on-3 rush with Toffoli the other way. He chipped it to Toffoli who kind of turnstiled Nick Holden and slid a shot backhand past Semyon Varlamov's outstretched right pad.
The kid remains en fuego as he also picked up the primary assist on Jeff Carter's first goal.
Dwight King did great work along the boards as he created a turnover, shoveled the puck over to Toffoli just inside the blue line whose deadly accurate shot found a screening Carter who got his stick on it.
Drew Doughty had himself a hell of a night as well. He played over 30 minutes, saved a sure goal which led to the eventual game winning goal and set up Dustin Brown's valuable insurance goal.
It was great work on the forecheck by the line of Brown, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik to keep the puck in the zone and wear down the Avalanche's defenders. Doughty jumped into the play, drew attention to himself then threaded the needle for a well deserved goal for the captain and that line.
While on the power play with the Colorado netminder pulled, LA hilariously iced the puck but fortunately, Carter was able to get the empty net with less than a minute remaining.
It was really strange to see Jarome Iginla in an Avalanche uniform. Thankfully he's no longer in Calgary so we only have to see him three times a year now and fortunately, he was a non-factor in last night's game. (In case you didn't know, he's at the top of the list of Kings Killers along with the recently retired Ray Whitney and Dallas's Jamie Benn.)
All-in-all, a kind of lukewarm effort team wide that was offset by excellent goaltending.