LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in the first season-opening shutout of his career, and the Los Angeles Kings won in new head coach John Stevens’ debut, 2-0 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Trevor Lewis and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings, who immediately got a vintage game from their well-rested goalie.
Quick injured his groin in the Kings’ season opener last year, eventually missing 59 games. He returned in February, but couldn’t stop the Kings from missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. That led to coach Darryl Sutter’s firing and the promotion of Stevens, Sutter’s longtime assistant and the former Philadelphia head coach.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 shots for Philadelphia, which followed up its season-opening win at San Jose with a frustrating offensive night.
After a scoreless first period highlighted by Neuvirth’s stunning glove save on Kings captain Anze Kopitar, Lewis put Los Angeles ahead midway through the second on a setup from Nick Shore. Toffoli scored with 2:21 to play on a pass from former Flyers forward Jeff Carter.
Quick was outstanding in the third period, making 17 saves and surviving a series of short-handed situations. The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner posted the seventh October shutout of his career.
Stevens took over the Kings this summer after serving as an assistant for the previous seven seasons, winning two Stanley Cup rings as Sutter’s defensive specialist. Before heading to LA, Stevens coached the Flyers for parts of four seasons from 2006-10, leading them to the Eastern Conference finals in 2008.
Three Kings also made their NHL debuts in a revamped lineup following the firings of Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi.
Alex Iafallo, a speedy 23-year-old forward from Minnesota-Duluth, skated on Los Angeles’ top line with Kopitar and Dustin Brown in his first professional hockey game after winning a roster spot in camp.
Defensemen Oscar Fantenberg and Kurtis MacDermid also got their first shot with the Kings, who want to be faster and younger in the post-Sutter era. Alec Martinez, the Kings’ 2014 Stanley Cup Final hero, missed the opener with a lower-body injury.
Defenseman Travis Sanheim made his NHL debut for the Flyers, who picked him in the first round in 2014. The 21-year-old Manitoba native got a double minor for high-sticking Lewis in the head late in the second period.
Staples Center observed a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. They included 22-year-old Christina Duarte, who started work with the Kings this summer as a fan service associate. The Kings wore a sticker on their helmets bearing her initials, “CD,” inside a heart.
Flyers: At Ducks on Saturday.
Kings: At Sharks on Saturday.
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