Quick shuts out Sharks 4-0, ends SJ four-game win streak

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– Jonathan Quick, the top goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings,
brought the league’s second-best goals against average into
Monday’s game against the host San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.
Quick came away with his fourth shut-out of the season and 12th
of his career as the Kings blanked San Jose 4-0.
SAN JOSE – Jonathan Quick, the top goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings, brought the league’s second-best goals against average into Monday’s game against the host San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.

Quick came away with his fourth shut-out of the season and 12th of his career as the Kings blanked San Jose 4-0.

The victory allowed the Kings to take a two-point lead over San Jose in the battle for second place in the bunched Pacific Division.

Quick had a 1.93 GAA, trailing only Boston’s Tim Thomas with a remarkable 1.63 GAA this season.

The teams skated through two scoreless periods before the Kings put together three goals in a span of 4:41 of the third period.

The Pacific Division is the most balanced of the six in the National Hockey League. Only seven points separated the first team from the last team in that division. Other divisions had differentials of 11, 12, 15, 17 and 30 points from top to bottom going into Monday’s play.

Entering Monday’s showdown, Los Angeles and San Jose shared second place in the division with 43 points each, trailing Dallas (46).

Los Angeles began a run of six games in nine days on Sunday by outlasting the Anaheim Ducks 4-1, scoring all four goals in the second period. The Sharks, off since stopping Phoenix 4-1 Thursday, begin a three-game road trip Wednesday in Minnesota. The trip concludes on New Year’s Day in Los Angeles.

San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi produced 30 saves in the first two periods to keep the Sharks in contention. Los Angeles rushed to a 2-0 lead by connecting on its first two shots of the third period.

King Brad Richardson brought the puck into the San Jose zone before being leveled in the corner by San Jose’s Jamie McGinn. Richardson was able to regain his skates, moved toward the net and found Trevor Lewis open in the low slot for a quick shot past Niemi at 2:08. The goal was the third in 36 career NHL games for Lewis, the Kings’ first-round selection in the 2006 Entry Draft.

The Kings made it 2-0 on their next trip into the offensive zone. Anze Kopitar centered a 3-on-2 rush, sliding the puck to left wing Marco Sturm for a 30-footer that dropped between Niemi’s pads at 3:19. The goal was the first for Sturm against his former club. Sturm was sent from San Jose to Boston as part of the Joe Thornton trade on Nov. 30, 2005.

King captain Dustin Brown drilled home a long rebound of a Drew Doughty offering from the left point at 6:49 to make it 3-0. Brown took over the Kings lead in goals at 16 for the season when he scored on a breakaway at 18:00 to complete the scoring.

“We laid a pretty good egg tonight,” said San Jose winger Ryane Clowe.

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