Quick earned his first shutout during this year’s playoffs tonight.
The Los Angeles Kings won the third game of their first round series against the St. Louis Blues. Jonathan Quick pitched his first shutout of the playoffs, and the skaters in front of him scored the one goal necessary to earn the win.
This was yet another physical game between these two teams. It’s not surprising, when one considers that physical play always ramps up during the playoffs, and it’s even less surprising when one considers the hard-nosed hockey style these two teams play on a regular basis. There was only one puck that got past a goaltender in this game, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the goal was the result of some greasy play in the crease. At one point, there were eight players in Brian Elliott’s crease, not including Brian Elliott himself. Elliott sprawled, and tried to snag the puck. It slid just out of his reach and the crowd in front of him thinned almost as quickly as it had formed. As Elliott pulled himself back into a standing position, Slava Voynov fired a puck far post, and Elliott, still stumbling, was unable to grab it. It was one of those tough goals, where the goalie didn’t have a chance to get set, but there wasn’t any direct interference at the moment when the puck crossed the line, so it was an legal goal, if an unfair one.
Obviously this was a big win for the Kings. Had they lost, they would have been down three games to none, and they would have faced elimination for the remainder of the series. Instead, they find themselves down two to one in games. It’s not ideal, but it certainly isn’t the hole they could be facing. I imagine each team is hoping to finish this series in as few games as possible (that will allow them to make it to the next round). There were 92 hits in tonight’s game, and these clubs are only going to dislike each other more and more with each shift.