Kings’ Quick plays the hero in Game 3


L.A. Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick took the blame for coughing up the puck that led directly to Alexander Steen’s overtime winner in a Game 1 of this Western Conference quarter-final against the St. Louis Blues.

With the scored tied 1-1 in Game 2, and only 51 seconds remaining in regulation, Quick let in a softie on a Barret Jackman wrist shot that sent the Kings back to L.A. trailing the Blues two-games-to-none.

Again, Quick accepted responsibility – perhaps more than he should have – by saying, “I gotta stop that. It’s my fault. Two games in a row…I gotta be better.”

He was better Saturday in a pivotal Game 3. A loss, and the defending Stanley Cup champs would be one game away from a first-round elimination, perhaps a sweep.

Quick wasn’t just better. He was perfect.

Quick stopped all 30 shots he faced, and the Kings got their first win of the series by beating the Blues 1-0.

Naturally, Quick’s teammates have been quick to defend him. After all, Quick only allowed four goals combined over the first two games. He gave the Kings a chance to win the opener thanks to his stellar play in regulation time.

“Obviously that’s inane for him to say any of those losses are on him,” Kings’ forward Justin Williams told the L.A. Times.

“But that’s who you want as a goaltender — a goaltender who’s going to battle for you. A guy who wants to stop every puck that comes toward him. That’s what he does. In this series we’ll need him to be at his best because goals are going to be at a premium.”