Last Friday, we highlighted the record matched by LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick after a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals:
Jonathan Quick has won his last eight playoff starts and has not allowed more than two goals in any of them (he owns a 1.24 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage).
That matches the longest such streak within one season in NHL playoff history. Detroit’s Terry Sawchuk won all eight of his playoff starts and did not allow more than two goals in any of them back in 1952.
Impressive stuff, perhaps impressive enough to leave a mark on his goaltending counterpart, Mike Smith.
The Coyotes netminder responded with a record of his own in Game 4, from Elias Sports Bureau:
Mike Smith made 36 saves in his 2-0 victory at Los Angeles that enabled the Coyotes to avoid being swept by the Kings in the Western Conference Final. Smith is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout with his team trailing three-games-to-none in a playoff series and the first ever to do so on the road.
Before Smith, the last goaltender to record a shutout with his team facing a four-game sweep was the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist against the Penguins in a second-round series in 2008.
To put Smith’s accomplishment in perspective, he posted the shutont in a road game that:
— Was scoreless for the first 14 minutes.
— Saw his team get out-shot by 15.
— Featured six Los Angeles power plays.
Lundqvist’s game in 2008 was a far different situation. One, it was at home rather than on the road. Two, the Penguins only managed 29 shots on goal (and the Rangers out-shot them by five). Three, Pittsburgh received only four PP opportunities to New York’s seven.
Now all Smith needs to do is figure out how to replicate his road success at home. He has three shutouts this posteason, all of them coming away from Jobing.com Arena.