Quick pulled after disastrous first period

Jonathan Quick didn’t get long to hang his head. Less than 24 hours after Quick had an uncharacteristically poor game in goal for the Kings, he got a chance to make things right.

Quick, coming off a loss to Phoenix, got the nod in net Wednesday night, and the Kings lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-1. Quick was pulled after the first period, after he allowed three first-period goals.

On the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, Quick often has been the lone reason the Kings have a chance to win games. He was an All-Star this season and has been in the top five in the league in goals-against average and save percentage all season.

That’s what made it so surprising, then, that Quick allowed four regulation goals Tuesday in Phoenix. The Kings led 3-0 in the first period, but the Coyotes beat Quick four times on 29 shots and won in a shootout.

“As it goes along, in his career, he will learn how to win high-scoring games,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said before Wednesday’s game. “Top goalies always do that.”

And what, in Sutter’s view, is the most important thing for goalies to learn in those situations?

“Mentally stay in it,” Sutter said. “It’s really no different than any other position. You can’t let one mistake, or one (goal) you think you could have had, affect your next one. I’m sure, if you talk to him, he’d like to have a couple (goals) back. I played with a Hall of Fame goaltender who was a flat-out winner, and that’s what he said.

The best goalies win high-scoring games. That was Tony Esposito. And really, when you look at it (in history), with the Edmonton goalies (in the 1980’s) and Patrick Roy, it’s right.”

NOTES, QUOTES

   –Kyle Clifford was able to play Wednesday night, as Clifford avoided supplemental discipline from the NHL after his Tuesday-night hit on Phoenix’s Gilbert Brule. Clifford delivered a big check to Brule near the boards in the third period, the force of which struck Brule in the upper-chest area and got very close to the head. Clifford received a match penalty and the Coyotes tied the game on the ensuing major penalty. Clifford, though, did not get any further punishment for the hit.
   –The Kings looked to get their penalty-killing back on track Wednesday, following a stunning collapse the night before in Phoenix, when they allowed a season-worst three power-play goals to the Coyotes, (statistically) the worst power-play team in the NHL this season. Penalty-killing has been a strength for the Kings in recent seasons, as they are regularly ranked in the top five in kill percentage, but coach Darryl Sutter said he was not overly concerned about the mistakes that led to the goals. “Those are just like 5-on-5 plays that you review and show,” Sutter said. “Those are individual mistakes that you can correct. They’re not system penalty-killing mistakes. That was probably the only frustrating part of it.”

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s not much different than really when I came here. You’re still in the very same position. From seven to 11 (in the Western Conference), there’s no difference, right, other than how your top players play.” — Kings coach Darryl Sutter, on the tight playoff race.

ROSTER REPORT
PLAYER NOTES:

   –D Alec Martinez is getting another chance to stay in the lineup.
Martinez, a lineup regular over the past two seasons, has twice been forced to the healthy-scratch list this season, once by rookie D Slava Voynov and once by D Davis Drewiske. Voynov was assigned to the American Hockey League two weeks ago, but the Kings then decided to give Drewiske, a stay-at-home defenseman, a two-game look. This week, though, coach Darryl Sutter decided he needed more offense on the blue line, so Martinez, a strong puck-mover, went back into a pairing with D Matt Greene.
   –C Jarret Stoll was able to play in the second of back-to-back games, coming off a lower-body injury that kept him out of the Kings’ lineup for two days. Stoll, who has regularly played on the second or third line, was eased back into the lineup, as he played Tuesday night in Phoenix in a fourth-line role alongside LW Brad Richardson and RW Colin Fraser, who moved over from center to accommodate Stoll’s return. Stoll, a 20-goal scorer last season, has underachieved with five goals in 57 games this season.
   –C Andrei Loktionov is finding the back of the net these days, with a combination of luck and skill. Loktionov went 33 consecutive games, at the start of the season, without scoring a goal, and had spent some time in the American Hockey League as well. Loktionov has three goals in his last five games, though, and seems to have settled nicely into a third-line role alongside LW Kyle Clifford and RW Trevor Lewis, a line of three young, versatile players.

MEDICAL WATCH:
   –Simon Gagne (concussion) was put on injured reserve on Dec. 28 and is out indefinitely.
   –Scott Parse (hip) was put on injured reserve on Nov. 9 and underwent surgery on Dec. 2. Parse will be out until at least early April and might be out for the season.

GOALTENDERS:
   –Jonathan Quick
   –Jonathan Bernier

DEFENSE PAIRINGS:
   –Rob Scuderi, Drew Doughty
   –Willie Mitchell, Jack Johnson
   –Alec Martinez, Matt Greene

FIRST LINE:
   –LW Jordan Nolan, C Anze Kopitar, RW Justin Williams

SECOND LINE:
   –LW Dwight King, C Mike Richards, RW Dustin Brown

THIRD LINE:
   — LW Kyle Clifford, C Andrei Loktionov, RW Trevor Lewis

FOURTH LINE:
   –LW Brad Richardson, C Jarret Stoll, RW Colin Fraser

Alec Martinez
———————————————————-
D Alec Martinez is getting another chance to stay in the lineup.
Martinez, a lineup regular over the past two seasons, has twice been forced to the healthy-scratch list this season, once by rookie D Slava Voynov and once by D Davis Drewiske. Voynov was assigned to the American Hockey League two weeks ago, but the Kings then decided to give Drewiske, a stay-at-home defenseman, a two-game look. This week, though, coach Darryl Sutter decided he needed more offense on the blue line, so Martinez, a strong puck-mover, went back into a pairing with D Matt Greene.

Andrei Loktionov
———————————————————-
C Andrei Loktionov is finding the back of the net these days, with a combination of luck and skill. Loktionov went 33 consecutive games, at the start of the season, without scoring a goal, and had spent some time in the American Hockey League as well. Loktionov has three goals in his last five games, though, and seems to have settled nicely into a third-line role alongside LW Kyle Clifford and RW Trevor Lewis, a line of three young, versatile players.

Jarret Stoll
———————————————————-
C Jarret Stoll was able to play in the second of back-to-back games, coming off a lower-body injury that kept him out of the Kings’ lineup for two days. Stoll, who has regularly played on the second or third line, was eased back into the lineup, as he played Tuesday night in Phoenix in a fourth-line role alongside LW Brad Richardson and RW Colin Fraser, who moved over from center to accommodate Stoll’s return. Stoll, a 20-goal scorer last season, has underachieved with five goals in 57 games this season.

Kyle Clifford
———————————————————-
LW Kyle Clifford was able to play Wednesday night, as Clifford avoided supplemental discipline from the NHL after his Tuesday-night hit on Phoenix’s Gilbert Brule. Clifford delivered a big check to Brule near the boards in the third period, the force of which struck Brule in the upper-chest area and got very close to the head. Clifford received a match penalty and the Coyotes tied the game on the ensuing major penalty. Clifford, though, did not get any further punishment for the hit.