The Los Angeles Kings will be looking for a Quick fix in Game 6 of their opening-round playoff series.
The Vancouver Canucks finally found the code to crack Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick's firewall as they whipped Los Angeles 7-2 in Friday night's pivotal fifth game. Quick allowed five goals on 26 shots as he was pulled in the second period and returned in the third.
"I would have liked to play a lot better without a doubt," said Quick. "But it's one of those games where we have to win two more."
The Canucks took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Sunday's sixth game as, for a change, Quick did not live up to his last name. Steve Bernier and Mikael Samuelsson both beat him for a pair of goals.
Kings coach Terry Murray gave the 22-year-old netminder the quick hook after Samuelsson sailed a shot into a narrow spot over his shoulder from long range at 13:31 of the second period.
"I saw it, it hit a couple things on the way in," said Quick. "It was 4-1. Coach has to make a decision and we stand behind his decision 100 per cent."
But Quick got the call to go back in after Samuelsson netted his second of the game at 6:31 of the third period. Erik Ersberg allowed two goals on four shots in relief and, barring another Quick meltdown, likely won't be seen again in this series.
"Coach wanted me to go back in there, so you don't think twice," said Quick.
Now, Murray wants Quick to think about ways to get better -- in a hurry. The Kings bench boss said his No. 1 netminder misplayed his angle at times and was caught flat-footed on other goals.
Never mind the trash-talking that went on in the game. Murray said there was no comparison between Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, who made 24 saves as the Canucks outshot the Kings 30-26, and Quick.
"The big difference was their goaltending was getting some big stops," said Murray. "You can't chirp about that. The goaltending wasn't good enough here tonight. (Quick) had a tough night. Some of those shots were coming through and I think there was a couple that were deflected. We've gotta be better in front of him and he has to be better himself."
Ersberg's effort left little doubt that the Kings have to rely on Quick to save their season. But before there was any whiff of a goaltending controversy, the coach quickly quashed it.
"Quick's going to go," said Murray. "He's been our guy all year long, and the one thing that I've always liked about his attitude is the mental toughness part of it, that he can move through the bad games and get himself prepared to play."
But veteran Kings defenceman Sean O'Donnell was not putting much stock in the final score, suggesting that they can put the setback behind them. Sometimes, he said, a last-minute loss or overtime defeat can be harder to shake than such a one-sided setback.
Noting that all of the previous games in the series were close, he said Friday's game was an aberration.
"(Sunday's game) is going to be a judgment of the character of our team," said O'Donnell.
And of Jonathan Quick.