Kings blank Devils, move victory away from first Stanley Cup title
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org June 4, 2012 10:48PM
The Kings’ Willie Mitchell keeps the Devils’ Adam Henrique away from goalie Jonathan Quick. | Getty Images
STANLEY CUP FINALS
KINGS VS. DEVILS
Kings lead series 3-0
All games at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.
Game 1: Kings 2, at Devils 1 (OT)
Game 2: Kings 2, at Devils 1 (OT)
Game 3: at Kings 4, Devils 0
Wednesday: at Kings
x-Saturday: at Devils
x-Monday: at Kings
x-June 13: at Devils
x- if necessary
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:37AM
LOS ANGELES — The New
Jersey Devils’ laments have been the same as those of the Los
Angeles Kings’ Western Conference victims.
They haven’t gotten enough ‘‘breaks’’ or ‘‘bounces.’’ They have to be more persistent and stay positive. They have to keep things simple, get more traffic and success will come.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, though, just continues to do his thing. Success is his.
Quick shut out the Devils 4-0 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Monday at the Staples Center to give the Kings a 3-0 lead in the
series and put them a victory away from their first title. Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday.
“We’re just trying to win a game,” Quick said.
Quick has deflected praise and questions about himself as well as he has shots in the finals. He wanted to give credit to those in front of him after they scored four goals Monday.
Alec Martinez and Anze Kopitar scored in the second period, and Jeff Carter and Justin Williams had power-play goals in the third.
Kings winger Simon Gagne, who
has endured multiple concussions, played for the first time since
But this is Quick’s story. He’s the favorite to win the Conn Smythe trophy if the Kings finish off the Devils. He’s 15-2 in the playoffs with three shutouts, a 1.36 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of the 17 games.
“What can you say about Jon Quick?” Williams said. “He’s been a rock this year, the whole playoffs.”
The Devils have gotten past a top-notch goalie already this postseason, having eliminated the New York Rangers and goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the Eastern Conference finals. Lundqvist, like Quick, is a Vezina Trophy finalist, but that’s about where the similarities end.
‘‘[Quick is] a little different than any other goalie we’ve faced so far,’’ Devils forward Travis Zajac said. ‘‘He plays low. He’s quick on rebounds. He’s fast. He gets out and plays pucks a lot.’’
The Devils thought they were on the verge of getting to Quick (22 saves) after a strong performance in Game 2, but to no avail.
“You need outstanding goaltending to win playoff games,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. “[Quick has] given us that.”
Quick and Devils goalie Martin
Brodeur (17 saves) each played well enough to win the first two games of the series. The difference in Games 1 and 2 was that the Kings’ top scorers scored and the Devils’ didn’t.
Quick has yielded only two goals in three games, and the Kings have fed off his play. His stop on David Clarkson turned into Martinez’s goal moments later at 5:40 of the second. Kopitar made it 2-0 later in the period, converting a nice passing sequence with Dustin Brown and Williams.
The Kings’ penalty kill was as
aggressive as Quick is in net.
Together, they killed all six of the Devils’ power plays. When Quick’s aggressiveness pulled him out of the net, his teammates were there to box out potential scorers or guide away loose pucks.
The power-play goals by Carter and Williams were mere bonuses.
“We need to score one,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “You know, their goalie made some big saves early. We couldn’t get one.”
We’ve heard that before.