Jonathan Quick is one of the top goaltenders in the NHL and his early-season play is a big reason why the Los Angeles Kings lead the Pacific Division, but he is mired in a five-start losing streak entering Wednesday’s home game against the Winnipeg Jets. Quick surrendered three goals in less than 12 minutes in Sunday’s loss at Vegas, but remains in the top 10 in the NHL in save percentage (.926) and goals against average (2.47).
“I think we’ve relied on Quickie a bit too much over the past six games,” Kings forward Tanner Pearson told reporters after Sunday’s 4-2 loss. “He’s been doing his part, and we’ve got to step up and do ours and help him out.” The Jets’ four-game winning streak ended Monday in Nashville as Winnipeg fell behind by four goals before a late rally fell shot in a 5-3 defeat. Mathieu Perreault continues to spark the Jets’ fourth line since returning from a lower-body injury, scoring twice to give him four goals and one assist in three games. “We’ve been pretty darn consistent after our first two (games) that we started the season,” Jets coach Paul Maurice told reporters after Winnipeg suffered just its third loss in regulation since an 0-2-0 start.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TSN3 (Winnipeg), FSN West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE JETS (12-5-3): Center Mark Scheifele picked up an assist Monday and is tied with forward Blake Wheeler for the team lead with 25 points. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who ranks in the top 10 of the league in goals-against average (2.45) and save percentage (.925), made 24 saves in a rare rough performance Monday. Winnipeg finished 1-for-2 on the power play against Nashville and for the season is converting at 22.7 percent, good for sixth in the league entering Tuesday.
ABOUT THE KINGS (12-7-2): Los Angeles remains one of the best defensive teams in the league, leading the NHL in penalty kill (90.1 percent) while ranking second in goals against per game (2.38). Center Trevor Lewis has scored goals in consecutive games while center Anze Kopitar - who leads the Kings with nine goals, 14 assists and 23 points - is pointless in his past two games following a 10-game point streak. Backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 30 saves in relief of Quick on Sunday.
1. The Kings are 1-5-0 since beginning the season 11-2-2, and have scored two goals or fewer five times in that span.
2. Jets 19-year-old F Patrik Laine, who has 10 goals and five assists in 20 games, saw his eight-game point streak end Monday.
3. The Kings finished 2-0-1 against the Jets last season, winning both games played in Los Angeles.
PREDICTION: Jets 3, Kings 2