It was a shutout for Jonathan Quick.
But the L.A. Kings’ goalie, the Conn Smythe winner from a year ago, didn’t have to anything really extraordinary Thursday night.
The Kings skated to a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal, taking a 3-2 series lead and moving to within one win of a berth in the conference final.
The Sharks had just 11 shots on Quick through two periods, and 24 in total. But other than a Joe Pavelski chance in the final seconds of the third period, the degree of difficulty for Quick on this night was minimal.
“I didn’t think we tested him a lot tonight. There are a number of goalies in the league that could have performed that way tonight…he didn’t have to work hard,” said Sharks’ head coach Todd McLellan, as per a pair of tweets from Curtis Zupke of NHL.com.
There were differing opinions on that, however.
“We definitely had our chances. We’ve just got to bear down,” the Sharks’ Joe Thornton told the L.A. Times.
Quick takes over the Kings’ franchise lead in playoff wins with 27, moving one ahead of Kelly Hrudey.
He also has three shutouts in these playoffs, which is tops in the NHL.
In fact, a quick glance at the stats shows Quick the leader in three additional major categories, including wins (7 – tied with Jimmy Howard and Tuukka Rask); goals-against average (1.50); and save percentage (.948).
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.