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LA Kings fall to Sharks on the road, 2-1
The Los Angeles Kings started their season on a rough note, as they not only were defeated by the San Jose Sharks by a score of 2-1, but also lost star goaltender Jonathan Quick for a significant time due to injury. Quick was placed on injured reserve, Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Logan Couture (1-1—2) factored on both goals to help the Sharks overcome an early deficit and win their seventh consecutive season-opening game, extending the longest active such streak in the NHL. San Jose, who faced Los Angeles in a season-opener for the third straight campaign, improved to 3-0-0 all-time in such contests vs. LAK and to 9-1-1 in their past 11 season-openers overall.
Undoubtedly, the it's the loss of the elite Quick that stings more for the Kings than the opening night defeat.
The 6-1, 218-pound native of Milford, Conn. played the first period of last night’s season opener in San Jose before exiting with a lower-body injury. He stopped 14-of-15 shots in his 20 minutes of action.
Selected in the third-round (72nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Quick has appeared in 476 career NHL games, with a record of 252-162-51, a 2.27 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and 42 shutouts. He leads the Kings all-time in games played, wins, shutouts, goals-against average, save percentage and minutes played.
To fill his spot, the Kings recalled goaltender Peter Budaj from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.
The 34-year-old Budaj is a 6-1, 196-pound native of Banska Bystrica, Slovakia who appeared in one game last season with the Kings and made 24 saves to earn the win on Feb. 12 in New York against the Rangers. He appeared in 60 games last season with the Ontario Reign, posting a record of 42-14-4 with a .932 save percentage, a 1.75 goals-against average and nine shutouts. He led the AHL in wins, save percentage, goals-against average, shutouts and minutes played (3,575).
Selected in the second-round (63rd overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by Colorado, Budaj has appeared in 297 career NHL games with Los Angeles, Colorado and Montreal, posting a record of 125-107-36 with a 2.76 goals against average, a .903 save percentage and 11 shutouts. Budaj will wear number 31 for the Kings.
MATTHEWS DAZZLES IN HISTORIC NHL DEBUT
Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (4-0—4) scored the first four goals of his NHL career – including a hat trick by the 1:25 mark of the second period – to become the first player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to score four times in his League debut.
"I think everybody was like 'What's going on here?' Like I said, you don't really draw it up like that. It would have been nice just to get the win,” said Matthews.
Only three other players have recorded a hat trick in their League debut in the modern era: Nordiques forward Real Cloutier (Oct. 10, 1979 vs. ATL: 3 G), Stars forward Fabian Brunnstrom (Oct. 15, 2008 vs. NSH: 3 G) and Rangers forward Derek Stepan (Oct. 9, 2010 at BUF: 3 G).
Four other players scored at least three goals in their first NHL game prior to 1943-44: Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Smart (Jan. 14, 1943 vs. CHI: 3 G) and three players who accomplished the feat on the first day of NHL games on Dec. 19, 1917, but who had all played previously in the National Hockey Association, the direct predecessor to the NHL – Canadiens forward Joe Malone (5 G), Montreal Wanderers forward Harry Hyland (5 G) and Toronto Arenas forward Reg Noble (4 G).
Matthews became just the fourth player in the modern era to score four goals in his team’s season-opener. The others: Canucks forwards Rick Blight (Oct. 6, 1976: 4 G at PIT) and Greg Adams (Oct. 8, 1987: 4 G vs. STL) and Lightning forward Chris Kontos (Oct. 7, 1992: 4 G vs. CHI).
Matthews, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, joined Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (Oct. 5, 2005: 2-0—2 vs. CBJ) as the only top picks to score multiple times in their NHL debuts.
At 19 years, 26 days, Elias says that Matthews also became the third-youngest player in NHL history to scored four goals in any game, behind Toronto’s Jack Hamilton on Dec. 4, 1943 (18 years, 185 days) and Washington’s Bobby Carpenter on Feb. 25, 1982 (18 years, 227 days).
How Matthews’ historic four-goal debut stacks up across other major professional leagues:
- No player has ever hit three home runs in his MLB debut; the last to hit two was Trevor Story on April 4, 2016.
- The last player to record three touchdowns in his NFL debut was Marshall Faulk on Sept. 4, 1994.
- The most points recorded by a player making his NBA debut is 43, achieved by Wilt Chamberlain on Oct. 24, 1959.
MCDAVID LEADS OILERS TO VICTORY IN OPENER
In his first regular-season game as Oilers captain, Connor McDavid (2-1—3) collected three points, including the game-winning goal on a penalty shot, to help Edmonton christen Rogers Place with an opening-night victory.
McDavid converted on his first career penalty shot and the first at Rogers Place. Wayne Gretzky tallied the first such goal at Rexall Place (then Northlands Coliseum) on Jan. 19, 1983 vs. WPG.
McDavid, who registered his fourth and fifth career multi-goal and three-point games, respectively, has collected 18-33—51 in 46 career games played (1.11 points per game).
Oilers forward Patrick Maroon scored the first regular-season goal at Rogers Place just 70 seconds after the opening face-off. Leon Draisaitl, who notched the final goal at Rexall Place on April 6 vs. VAN, collected the lone assist.
The Oilers announced that Gretzky – who hit the ice with Mark Messier before puck drop – has joined the Oilers Entertainment Group as Partner and Vice Chair. The club also unveiled his statue as part of the Oilers Hall of Fame at Rogers Place.
WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
OTTAWA 5, Toronto 4 (OT)
St. Louis 5, CHICAGO 2
EDMONTON 7, Calgary 4
SAN JOSE 2, Los Angeles 1
THURSDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
NY Islanders @ NY Rangers, 7 p.m., MSG, MSG+ 2
Boston @ Columbus, 7 p.m., FS-O, NESN
Montreal @ Buffalo, 7 p.m., SN360, MSG-B, RDS
New Jersey @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, MSG+
Detroit @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SUN, FS-D
Carolina @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m., TSN3, FS-CR
Minnesota @ St. Louis, 8 p.m., FS-MW, FS-N, FS-WI
Washington @ Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., NBCSN, TVAS2
Anaheim @ Dallas, 8:30 p.m., FS-SW, PRIME
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services