Goaltender Jonathan Quick answered the call.
Staked to a three-goal lead in the first period, Quick did everything he could to make the lead stand up en route to 51 saves in a 3-1 win in Game 5 of the Kings’ Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Sharks. For his efforts, Quick is the TheBruinsBlog.net Star of the Night.
Longtime Los Angeles Times beat writer Helene Elliott was on hand to witness Quick’s greatness. She wrote:
Quick insisted his teammates played a large role in helping him set a club playoff record for saves Saturday because they limited the Sharks to mostly perimeter shots. That was true to an extent. And they gave him some security in the form of first-period goals by Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Clifford and — yes — Dustin Penner on their first four shots at Antti Niemi.
But the Kings would not have prolonged their playoff series to a sixth game, set for 7 p.m. Monday at Staples Center, if not for Quick’s calm in the face of 19 shots in the first period and 18 in the third. The 15-shot middle period was a vacation by comparison.
Whether his teammates helped him out or not, Quick should hope he gets more support when its time to prevent elimination again in Game 6.
Honorable mention: Steven Stamkos (2-1-3), Simon Gagne (2 goals) and Pavel Kubina (2 goals) of Tampa Bay; Alexander Ovechkin (1-1-2, GWG) and Michal Neuvirth (26-for-27 saves) of Washington; Carey Price (49-for-51 saves) of Montreal; Tim Thomas (44-for-45 saves) of Boston; Kyle Clifford (1-1-2) and Wayne Simmonds (1-1-2) of Los Angeles.
Last night’s scores
Tampa Bay 8, Pittsburgh 2
Washington 3, NY Rangers 1
Boston 2, Montreal 1 (2OT)
Los Angeles 3, San Jose 1
Philadelphia at Buffalo, 3
Anaheim at Nashville, 6
Vancouver at Chicago, 7:30