Help is on the way for the Los Angeles Kings, as the team activated star goaltender Jonathan Quick and forward Jordan Nolan from injured reserve.
The 6-1, 218-pound Quick, suffered a lower-body injury in the Kings first game of the season on October 12 at San Jose. He has missed 59 games due to the injury. Last season, he became the first Kings goaltender to win at least 40 games in franchise history, breaking his own record.
Quick has appeared in 476 career NHL games, posting a 252-162-51 record, a .916 SV%, 2.27 GAA and 42 shutouts. He holds the franchise record in every major goaltending category. His 42 shutouts are the most among American-born goaltenders in NHL history.
The 6-3, 219-pound Nolan, suffered an injury on Feb. 1, and has missed nine games. He has appeared in 41 games this season, posting eight points (4-4=8) and 44 penalty minutes.
Quick made an immediate impact upon his return because . . .
KINGS CRUSH DUCKS, 4-1
Los Angeles scored four times in the third period and Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in his first start since suffering a lower-body injury on opening night, as the Kings registered a 4-1 victory.
Darryl Sutter earned his 216th win with the Kings to pass Andy Murray (215) for the most by a head coach in franchise history.
The Kings climbed within three points of the Blues for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
BETTMAN UPHOLDS SUSPENSION FOR DUCKS’ VERMETTE
Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 10-game suspension that was assessed to Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette for his physical abuse of the officials during Anaheim's game with Minnesota on February 14.
Vermette met with Commissioner Bettman during a hearing in New York on February 23, pursuant to his appeal of the suspension assessed on February 16.
The length of the suspension includes four games already served. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Vermette will forfeit $97,222.22. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Vermette issued the following statement regarding the suspension:
"First and foremost, I have great respect for the officials and the integrity of the game. Also, I agree that I deserve a suspension. I should never make contact with an official. At the earliest possible opportunity, I apologized to Mr. Shandor Alphonso. I was trying to get his attention and was not trying to hurt him. However, using my stick was a mistake, and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I certainly hope my track record in the NHL will earn me the benefit of the doubt regarding this incident. I feel a 10-game suspension is excessive and will be reviewing my options. I look forward to returning to the lineup as soon as possible."
GUENTZEL STEERS PENGUINS TO STADIUM SERIES WIN
Appearing in just his 23rd NHL game and first against the Penguins’ cross-state rival, rookie Jake Guentzel tallied two assists – including a feed to Sidney Crosby on the game’s opening goal – to lead Pittsburgh to victory in the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, their second win in a regular-season outdoor game (also 2008 WC at BUF).
Guentzel’s multi-point game was the second of his brief NHL career; the 22-year-old native of Omaha, Neb., made headlines by scoring twice in his League debut on Nov. 21 against the Rangers. His first goal came on his first shot of his first shift just 62 seconds into the game – the fastest goal ever by a Pittsburgh player in his NHL debut.
Crosby scored his League-leading 34th goal of the season (54 GP), two shy of his total from 2015-16 (80 GP). He has compiled 36-48—84 in 57 career regular-season games against the Flyers, an average of 1.47 points per game.
Matt Murray (36 saves) improved to 23-7-3 this season to move within one victory of matching the single-season franchise record for wins by a rookie goaltender, a mark set by Gary Inness in 1974-75 (24-18-10).
Matt Cullen (40 years, 115 days) became the third player aged 40+ to score a goal in an NHL regular-season outdoor game, following Boston’s Mark Recchi (41 years, 334 days) vs. PHI in 2010 at Fenway Park and Detroit’s Daniel Alfredsson (41 years, 21 days) vs. TOR in 2014 at the Big House.
The sellout crowd of 67,318 at the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series raised total attendance for the League’s 22 regular-season outdoor games to 1,208,317 – an average of 54,924 per game. Antonio Brown of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers addressed the crowd prior to the game.
The Penguins became the eighth home team to win a regular-season outdoor NHL game (22 GP: 8-12-2) and the third to do so this season, joining the Maple Leafs and Blues.
SATURDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
LOS ANGELES 4, Anaheim 1
NASHVILLE 5, Washington 2
COLUMBUS 7, NY Islanders 0
NY Rangers 4, NEW JERSEY 3 (OT)
Montreal 3, TORONTO 2 (OT)
PITTSBURGH 4, Philadelphia 2
San Jose 4, VANCOUVER 1
COLORADO 5, Buffalo 3
SUNDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
Boston @ Dallas, 12:30 p.m., NBC
Calgary @ Carolina, 3 p.m., FS-SE, SNW
Edmonton @ Nashville, 5 p.m., SN360, FS-TN
Columbus @ NY Rangers, 5 p.m., NHLN-US, MSG, FS-O
St. Louis @ Chicago, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
Ottawa @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., SN, SN360, TVAS, FS-F
Buffalo @ Arizona, 8:30 p.m., FS-A, MSG-B
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services