Kings clinch tie for Jennings Trophy

LOS ANGELES — The Kings once again solidified their status as one of the top defensive teams in the NHL Saturday night when Jonathan Quick allowed just three goals to clinch a tie for the Jennings Trophy.

The William M. Jennings Trophy is awarded to the top goaltender, or pair of goaltenders, that have played in at least 25 games and allowed the fewest goals in the league. Jonathan Quick would be the recipient, although former King Ben Scrivens and backup Martin Jones also contributed. Jones played in only 19 games, so he is not eligible and Scrivens is now with Edmonton.

Led by Quick, the trio of goalies allowed just 168 goals this season. It’s the first time in franchise history that the team has won or tied for the award.

"It’s one of those awards that I think represents who we are as a group," said captain Dustin Brown. "Obviously, Quickie is a big part of that but we’ve always I think we’ve always been on the fringe maybe the last two-three years, maybe a top-five, top-six team. To win it would be huge for our team."

Both Sutter and Brown were quick to point out that it’s a team award. The Kings used three goalies but also have some of the best defensive talent in the league, as is evidenced by their points leader and top goal scorer Anze Kopitar being voted by the media as the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.

"It’s one of those awards that maybe doesn’t get a lot of media play," Brown said. "But it’s a big part of the success here."

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The Bruins are still in the running for the award as well, and they finish the season against New Jersey Sunday night.The Blackhawks were the most recent recipients of the award.

Team awards were also released during Saturday’s game with Kopitar taking home MVP honors as well.

"He had a really good regular season," Sutter said. "He’s played the last little bit like he’s getting ready for the next step."

Drew Doughty was named Top Defenseman and chosen by the Kings Booster Club as the most popular player. The media voted Martin Jones Best Newcomer and players themselves voted Matt Greene the Most Inspirational and Trevor Lewis the Unsung Hero. The Kings Care Foundation recognized Jonathan Quick for his philanthropic efforts with the community service award.

It was the final game of the regular season for the Kings (46-28-8, 100 points) and while it might have ended in a loss, they earned part of a win for the Jennings Trophy and are primed for playoff action.

"I think the last couple of games, definitely, our intensity was there, our effort was there and that was obviously our preparation for the playoffs," Kopitar said. "Tonight, the building was loud too, which was really nice to see and we are going to need that going forward. Now we have a couple of days off to try to recharge and get ready for whenever we are going to start."