Penguins are hoping to start new win streak
By Dan Greenspan
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Jonathan Quick got another memento to add to the plastic tub in his attic filled with pucks commemorating important achievements.
Quick stopped 38 shots to get his 301st win, leading the Kings to a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night, snapping the Penguins’ six-game road winning streak.
Quick tied Mike Richter for fourth place in career wins by an American goalie, reaching the mark in his 577th game and matching the former Rangers goalie’s total in 666 games.
“Well, obviously, to get here means I’ve been lucky enough to play with some good players and on some really good hockey teams. Yeah, it means a lot. It’s special,” Quick said of tying Richter.
Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists and Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings, who had lost four of their past five.
The Kings were determined to respond after a 4-1 loss to Ottawa on Thursday they derided as perhaps the worst performance of a disappointing season. They followed through, taking a lead 2-1 lead at 8:47 of the second period when Alex Iafallo was credited with his 10th goal after a centering pass by Carter struck him in the chest and went in.
Kopitar made it 3-1 at with 3:55 left with a short-handed goal.
Brendan Leipsic pushed the lead to 4-1 at 49 seconds of the third.
“Last game was embarrassing and the effort wasn’t there, so coming in tonight we wanted to throw in the effort obviously and the desperation level needed to win the game, and we did a good job,” said Kopitar, who added an empty-netter with 47 seconds remaining.
Quick mixed in his typical array of spectacular highlight saves, including a glove save on Riley Sheahan in the second period before the Kings jumped out in front and an acrobatic stop of Evgeni Malkin in the third period when the Penguins were making a charge.
“Being back there for us, it’s very comforting because he always gives us a chance and that’s what you want from your goaltender,” Kopitar said. “To see him get up there in his individual columns, if you will, it’s not surprising.”
Jake Guentzel scored short-handed and power-play goals and Casey DeSmith made 20 saves for the Penguins, who lost for the second time in their past 12 games.
Guentzel scored five goals in the back-to-back games against Anaheim and Los Angeles, but Pittsburgh was unable to continue the longest road winning streak in the NHL this season.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was most concerned with allowing a league-worst 10th short-handed goal. Kris Letang made an off-balance backhand pass that led to a 2-on-1 break for Kopitar and Carter.
Sullivan isn’t ready to abandon the four-forward, one-defenseman personnel grouping that has worked so well for Pittsburgh, but cautioned the team could not be so careless with the puck going forward.
“It’s a lack of diligence in important parts of the rink,” Sullivan said. “Even though we’ve on the power play we have to have some conscience defensively, and it starts with our own puck possession.”
Game notes: Quick is 68 wins behind Tom Barrasso in third place. Ducks goalie Ryan Miller is tied with John Vanbiesbrouck for most wins by a U.S.-born goalie at 374. … Guentzel has seven goals and three assists during a six-game point streak. … Malkin got his eighth assist during a six-game streak.
Penguins: Visit San Jose on Tuesday.
Kings: Visit Minnesota on Tuesday.