Jonathan Quick put together a vintage Jonathan Quick game on Sunday for the Los Angeles Kings.
Which, in turn, means the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t win.
Quick had 34 saves in earning his first victory of the season and 50th career shutout and the Kings won 2-0 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Canes (12-10-4), beginning a three-game West Coast road trip, had scoring chances and “high-danger” scoring chances. They had 90 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the third period in a still-scoreless game. No one could find the net.
“It’s deflating for sure,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “That’s a tough loss, especially that way.”
The Canes also wasted a sharp game in net from goalie Petr Mrazek, who had 33 saves in his first start since a Nov. 2 lower-body injury against Arizona.
“He kept us in there,” Brind’Amour said. “The two goalies were kind of going back and forth. We needed someone to make a play, put it in the net. We’re not getting that right now.”
The Kings broke through with 2:13 left in regulation on a goal by defenseman Alec Martinez. That came on a set play off a draw in the offensive zone, as Martinez went backdoor to beat the Canes’ Brock McGinn and then Mrazek.
An empty-netter by Kyle Clifford in the final minute sealed it after Mrazek was pulled for an extra attacker.
The winning goal came after a turnover by the Canes in the neutral zone, after an Andrei Svechnikov pass into the skates of Lucas Wallmark. That resulted in a Dustin Brown shot that Mrazek stopped, then two faceoffs -- the first ruled a false start that allowed Brind’Amour to insert McGinn for Svechnikov.
Wallmark lost the draw to Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin found Martinez breaking in behind McGinn on the right side. McGinn smashed his stick against the post in frustration after the score.
“Unfortunately, we took a breath at the end and it cost us,” Brind’Amour said. “We keep talking about that (and) we’ve got to learn. I’ve got to do a better job on just hammering home these points. We can’t keep doing it.”
The Canes had the two-man advantage after the Kings’ Clifford was called for tripping Svechnikov at 9:17 of the third and Tyler Toffoli for tripping Teuvo Teravainen 30 seconds later. Jordan Staal, Justin Faulk and Sebastian Aho had shots during the 5-on-3 but Quick made the stops.
“You’ve got to score there,” Brind’Amour said. “Our power-play guys have not been good lately and it’s been the difference really. Where the margin’s tight, you need a goal there and that game’s different. You’ve got to capitalize and we didn’t.”
The Canes were 0-6 on the power play Friday in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. They’ve now scored four goals in the past four games (1-2-1).
Quick missed 18 games with lower-body injuries and was 0-4 this season before Sunday with a 4.24 goals-against average. But he was at his best Sunday, once making a fingertip stop of a McGinn shot after Quick -- who now leads all U.S.-born goalies in career shutouts -- had lost his paddle.
The Canes had 14 shots in the third period. Nothing went in.
“No one is going to feel sorry for you,” Brind’Amour said. “We have to find a way to dig ourselves out of it.”