ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dustin Brown scored two goals and veteran Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots for his 54th career shutout, lifting the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
It was the second shutout this season for the 35-year-old Quick, who helped the Kings win two Stanley Cup championships in his career.
“Quick had to make some big saves there in the last 10 minutes,” Brown said. “They have a really good team over there. They know how to come back in those types of games. What we did well late was make quick line changes. We stayed fresh out there.”
Gabriel Vilardi added a goal for the Kings, who scored in each period and extended their winning streak to five games. Brown closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 18:57 of the third.
“We’re not surprised one bit,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said of the Los Angeles winning streak. “We have some confidence. Everybody is in sync. We’re structurally pretty sound. We’re making plays. We’re getting good goaltending. Our specialty teams are giving us a boost most nights. Is that surprising? To us no, but maybe to the hockey world a little bit.”
Vilardi pushed in a loose puck as he was falling down outside the crease at 17:30 of the first period. The power-play goal gave the Kings a 1-0 lead. Los Angeles has scored 16 power-play goals this season over 17 games. The Kings’ only game without scoring a power-play goal was on Jan. 16, against Minnesota.
The goal snapped a streak for St. Louis. The Blues’ penalty kill had been perfect in five consecutive games (10 for 10) before allowing the Vilardi goal.
St. Louis opponents have scored first in 12 of the Blues’ 19 games.
A Zach Sanford giveaway led to Kings’ second goal.
“You gotta make better plays with the puck for sure and better decisions,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “You turn pucks over in the D-zone, it obviously causes problems.”
Brown made a nifty move to stick handle his way to the the net and score an unassisted goal on a wrist shot that slid by goalie Jordan Binnington, giving the Kings a 2-0 lead at 18:54 of the second.
“Getting to the net is a big part of my game,” Brown said. “I don’t think I’ve scored a goal farther than 10 feet from the net.
“The big thing is he’s still having fun playing the game. He really is,” McLellan said. “It’s miserable when you’re losing. When you’re winning, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you have a lot of fun doing and he seems to be doing that now.”
Binnington, who left the ice with 2:49 remaining, had won three straight against the Kings. Binnington recorded 28 saves.
It was the third time St. Louis has been shut out this season.
“I thought Quick made some big saves for them and kept us at zero,” Berube said. “But saying that, we gotta find rebounds and things like that and get secondary chances off of shots and we didn’t get enough of that tonight.”
The Blues announced Monday that LW Sammy Blais, 24, had a false positive, so he is off the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol list. He was placed on the list Saturday. He was the first Blues player on the COVID list this year.
St. Louis D Carl Gunnarsson suffered a lower-body injury as he was battling for the puck along the boards behind the Blues’ net with 9:20 remaining in the second period. He needed trainers’ assistance to get off the ice and did not return. … The Blues remain without F Jaden Schwartz (lower body) and D Colton Parayko (undisclosed). This was the fifth game Schwartz has missed and the third for Parayko. … Kings F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (upper body) and F Martin Frk (lower body) were out.
Brown played in his 1,200th career regular-season game, joining five other active players who have reached the plateau. He became the 14th American to reach 1,200 games, and the only active one to do so. Over his 1,200 games, all with the Kings, Brown has totaled 669 points and set the Kings’ franchise record in games played.
“I feel good on the ice. I’ve played in this league for a while,” Brown said. “Knowing the game is huge at this level. You get better if you pay attention. I think I play a lot better than I did when I began. You always work to get better each year. If you put in the work, you can excel.”
Los Angeles D Sean Walker has been activated from injured reserve. Walker took a slap shot to the face in January and has missed eight games. … D Austin Strand has been assigned to the taxi squad.
RW Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) was on the ice again Monday for the morning skate. He was getting in his prep work towards a potential return in the not-too-distant future. Taraskenko remains recovering from surgery he had five months ago on his left shoulder, his third surgery there and second since Oct. 27, 2019. … Blues C Tyler Bozak, who hasn’t played since he sustained a big hit by Mark Stone on Jan. 26, was also on the ice Monday morning.
The Blues wore their reverse retro red uniforms for the second, and final, time this season. This marked another run of four uniforms in four games for the Blues. They wore their road jerseys on Feb. 15 at Arizona, their regular home jerseys on Thursday, their heritage blues on Saturday and the retros Monday. The Blues, in their red look, meant the Kings faced teams wearing their Reverse Retro jerseys in back-to-back games. The Coyotes wore their purple concept on Saturday, the first time an opponent had worn their Reverse Retro sweaters against the Kings.
The Blues and Kings play again Wednesday night at the Enterprise Center.
More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL://apnews.com/hub/NHL