LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although Jonathan Quick has a serious aversion to attention, the goalie reluctantly acknowledged the spotlight when he broke the Los Angeles Kings’ 36-year-old franchise record for shutouts.
After blanking the Buffalo Sabres, Quick would be happy to fade into the background again until he has another chance to raise the Stanley Cup.
Quick made 29 saves to set the club record with his 33rd career shutout, and the Kings beat the Sabres 2-0 on Thursday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
Quick was tested only occasionally while pulling ahead of Rogie Vachon for the franchise lead in shutouts with his second in three games. Los Angeles, the NHL’s best defensive team last season, has allowed just three goals while winning the first five games of its six-game homestand, which concludes Sunday against Columbus.
“A shutout, it takes 20 men to do that, to shut a team out for 60 minutes, so I’m very grateful to my teammates over the years,” Quick said. “It’s over now. We’ll keep playing. … It’s more about what as a team we’re able to do, but I know what Rogie achieved and what he meant to this team and this city.”
Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar scored power-play goals for the defending champions in their first game since defenseman Slava Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL after his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence early Monday.
Voynov, a two-time Stanley Cup winner and a key contributor to the Kings for the past three seasons, hasn’t been charged. He was replaced by Jake Muzzin, who returned from injury for his first game of the season.
The Kings ramped up their defensive play in Voynov’s absence, and the spiraling Sabres couldn’t crack them.
“We’ve had to do it in different ways, different start times and different things going on,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. “We’ve had a lot to deal with, and we handled it well tonight.”
Kings forward Jordan Nolan played against his father, Sabres coach Ted Nolan, for the first time in the NHL, but the son’s team dominated the reunion.
Jhonas Enroth stopped 37 shots for the Sabres, who have lost seven of eight to start the season despite an improved performance in their coach’s eyes.
“Our last couple of games, our effort has been a lot better,” Ted Nolan said. “Everything starts with work. The first five or six games, the effort wasn’t there. And now the last couple of games, the effort is there.”
Buffalo has scored one goal in its last four games, and its power play is 0 for 27 this season.
“When you’re struggling, you’ve got to simplify things, put pucks to the net and bang home some rebounds,” Buffalo forward Chris Stewart said. “It’s not very often that you’re going to beat Jonathan Quick with a clean shot, so we’ve got to get traffic to the net, shoot for the pads, and get a couple of ugly goals. It’s that simple.”
Carter scored in the opening minute and added an assist. His third multipoint performance in five games highlighted another productive night for That 70s Line. Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson have scored 12 of the Kings’ 16 goals this season.
Carter put the Kings ahead just 36 seconds after the opening faceoff, firing a long shot through traffic 7 seconds into a power play for his fourth goal of the season. With fresh legs from three days off, Los Angeles had a step on the Sabres for much of the night.
Kopitar doubled the lead late in the second period when he brought the puck in from the point and did a give-and-go with Carter, whose assist was his 100th point with Los Angeles.
“We talked about it before this homestand — we want to have a strong start,” Kopitar said. “It’s a good way to start a season, and we’re doing a fairly good job right now.”
NOTES: The Kings have killed 17 straight penalties. … Former Buffalo defenseman Brayden McNabb leveled Torrey Mitchell with a big hit in the first period, and Drew Stafford got an instigator penalty and a misconduct for challenging McNabb to an immediate fight. The Kings acquired McNabb from the Sabres last March in a four-player trade that included Nicolas Deslauriers, who blocked two shots for Buffalo. … Muzzin agreed to a five-year, $20 million contract extension while injured.
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