Newly acquired goaltender Jonathan Quick recorded his first shutout as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday, March 11 as Vegas defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0.
Quick stopped all 33 shots he faced for a 1.000 save percentage Saturday. He has compiled a 3-0-0 record with an average of 2.00 goals allowed per game and a .939 since joining the Golden Knights.
“I think he’s building confidence in his game,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “In LA, I can’t speak to what happened but I’m guessing he wasn’t as confident as he once was. Now you’re getting some wins [and] guys are playing hard in front of you.”
This shutout is Quick’s 58th career shutout which moves him into a tie with John Ross Roach at 21st on the NHL’s all-time list.
Saturday’s win marked the seventh opponent this season that Vegas has completed the season series sweep on. Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Winnipeg and Washington were the other six teams that have been swept by the Knights this season.
“It was pretty good,” Cassidy said, “Lets face it, you got your hands full coming in here. It’s a team that plays fast. They're behind you. Everything goes to the net. I’ve seen it a lot over the years and I thought getting the lead was important as well.”
With Saturday’s win, Vegas picked up their 40th win of the season and now have a record of 40-20-6 with a total of 86 points in the Pacific Division. While Los Angeles still trails Vegas by two points for the top spot in the division, Vegas was able to widen their lead to six points over Edmonton and Seattle who are tied for the third spot in the division with 80 points each.
This five-game road trip continues for the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday, March 12 as the team makes their way to the Enterprise Center for a matchup with the St. Louis Blues. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen on NHL Network nationwide.
“It’s a pretty tough road trip,” right-winger Jonathan Marchessault said. “To get out of those three teams [Florida, Tampa Bay and Carolina with] two wins, I think it’s really good for our group. We’ve got a few guys down and we need guys to step up in big moments and that’s what we’re doing right now. We’ve got to be ready to go back out there tomorrow and do the same thing.”
Sunday’s matchup will be the final of three games scheduled for these two teams. Each team has won a game over the other making Sunday’s game the tiebreaker in the season series. This will be the fourth of a five-game road trip the Golden Knights are on and will be their 10th game in 19 days.
Marchessault opened up the scoring for the Golden Knights in the 1st period with his 20th goal of the season less than five minutes into the game. Marchessault’s goal would be the only goal on each side for the opening frame.
This is the fifth season that Marchessault has scored 20 or more goals in a season as a member of the Golden Knights, the most in franchise history.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo picked up his 29th assist of the season as he was the lone Knight to assist on Marchessault’s goal.
It is also the fifth time in the past six games that Vegas has scored first in a game. Vegas is 5-0 in that stretch when scoring first.
Right-winger Reilly Smith added on to the Vegas lead in the second period, scoring his 22nd goal of the season with 2:40 to go in the middle period to give the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead heading into the third period. Center William Karlsson grabbed his 30th assist of the season on Smith’s goal.
Smith has three goals in his last six games and is currently on a four-game point streak (two goals, two assists).
A pair of centers in Paul Cotter and Brett Howden scored the insurance goals in the third period that Vegas needed to grab the win. Cotter’s goal came with 6:50 left in regulation and Howden’s goal was an empty net goal that came with 1:24 left in the game.