SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Olympics-bound Jonathan Quick made a season-high 45 saves as the Los Angeles Kings turned back the NHL-leaders San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Monday.
Quick, who has been selected to represent the U.S. in Vancouver next month, stood tall against San Jose’s dangerous offense to lift the Kings (25-15-3) to their third straight win.
“He (Quick) did a great job for us,” Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty told reporters.
“Even though we got six goals, if (Quick) didn’t play as well as he did tonight they easily could have had six as well.”
Los Angeles built a 6-0 advantage behind six different scorers — Michal Handzus, Oscar Moller, Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth, Wayne Simmonds and Scott Parse — and that proved more than enough to snap the Sharks’ eight-game winning streak.
Tied with the Chicago Blackhawks with a league-leading 61 points, the Sharks (27-9-7) dominated the puck and out-shot the Kings 47-20 but could not capitalize on their possession.
San Jose starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was pulled in the second after allowing five scores in 16 shots and Thomas Greiss finished the game in net.
The Sharks were plagued by penalties throughout and allowed three power-play scores before Douglas Murray and Patrick Marleau scored in the third to break up a shutout for Quick.
“It is a prime example of needing two aspects to your game, you better be there physically and mentally,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “Physically, we were fine but the mental mistakes were unacceptable.”
One bright note for the Sharks was Joe Thornton, the NHL’s leader in assists and points, who provided another set-up on the game’s final goal, by Marleau, for his 900th career point.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Nick Mulvenney/Patrick Johnston