Goaltending has been a problem all season for the Los Angeles Kings. But the Kings won the goaltending battle and the game on Friday night.
Jonathan Quick earned himself first-star honors with a 29-save performance which saw him finish with 1.45 goals saved above expected.
The San Jose Sharks weren't as fortunate in net. James Reimer posted 24 saves on 28 shots and -1.19 goals saved above expected. Reimer allowed two goals to squeak through his body. Viktor Arvidsson's eventual game-winner and Rasmus Kupari's insurance goal were both ones Reimer will want back.
"It was a good recovery game," Todd McLellan said of the win. "Obviously we weren’t pleased with the way things ended up against the Rangers. We had a couple of days to work on some things but it was a good road game. When that happens, usually all four lines are involved, all six defenseman, goaltending was solid. So team win."
Quick wasn't the only standout performer for the LA Kings though. Jaret Anderson-Dolan grabbed his first goal and assist on the season. Playing one of his best games in a Kings jersey. Along with his two points, he was fantastic on the forecheck and solid defensively. McLellan had a lot of praise for Anderson-Dolan and his line post-game.
"I couldn’t be happier for that group," said McLellan. "That line played their best game of the season together. They were firm, they were hard, they won a lot of puck battles. Arty Kaliyev was physical, he stripped a lot of pucks, fed those players. Kup won faceoffs, JAD obviously worked his butt off and scored. Many elements that are needed for success as a line, I think we saw that constantly from those three. They should all feel really good about themselves and should be prepared to do it again on Sunday."
Mikey Anderson was also impressive. He had a nice assist taken away from him because of an offside and showed off why he is emerging as a top-tier shutdown defenseman. A plus-three Friday, he defended this blue line aggressively, buried Kevin Labanc and saved a goal in the last two minutes. He more than earned his game-leading 21:42 of time on ice.
Now 2-3 in their last five games, the Kings return home Sunday night, facing off against the struggling Ottawa Senators. The Kings have struggled for consistency all season, so we'll have to wait and see which Kings team shows up come puck drop.