ESPN News Services2 minute read
LAS VEGAS — Jonathan Quick didn’t have the brightest start, but he did enough to earn his first win with the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday in a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Quick, a two-time Stanley Cup champion acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday — two days after being traded from the Los Angeles Kings — made 25 saves in the win.
“I felt pretty comfortable from the start,” Quick said. “Obviously a different frame, a different colored jersey, but once you get out, you’re just trying to play hockey.”
Quick, who knows the Vegas environment all too well as an opponent, received a warm welcome from fans when he led the Golden Knights onto the ice before the game.
“It’s a fun building to play in,” Quick said. “These fans are great, we’ve known that from day one. Definitely a warm welcome, and I appreciated that.”
It remains to be seen where Quick, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, will fit into coach Bruce Cassidy’s plans for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs. He could work his way into a starting role or be a backup like he was this season in Los Angeles. But, after this whirlwind week, the veteran will be ready for anything.
“I’m a goaltender,” Quick said, “so stop the puck, try to win.”
Ivan Barbashev, another recent Las Vegas acquisition, scored twice, and Shea Theodore and Reilly Smith also scored in the win for Vegas.
Barbashev is very comfortable in net, and that’s where the forward has twice found himself with the puck on his stick. He made the most of it.
“I think you’ll see a lot more,” Cassidy said. “That’s where he goes, that’s where he hangs out. He’s comfortable out there, right in front of the net. He was ready to use his feet, his stick, whatever it takes .”
Mike Matheson, Alex Belzile and Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored for Montreal, which lost its third straight to complete a four-game road trip. Jake Allen made 24 saves.
“I never feel like I’m off the mark,” said Montreal coach Martin St. Louis. “The good thing (today) was that we were down two (after the first period). It could have been much worse. I know we have the type of game that we can come back to.
The Golden Knights led 3-0 early in the third period, but Montreal’s Mike Matheson scored at 2:04 to put the Canadians on the board. It was Matheson’s fifth goal this season.
Vegas restored its three-goal lead as Barbashev — acquired from St. Louis last Sunday — earned his second of the game and 12th of the season at 7:44.
Belzile got the Canadians back in two just 23 seconds later with his second of the season.
Montreal shot 4-3 35 seconds later as Harvey-Pinard took a pass from Jesse Ylonen behind the net to beat Quick for their eighth.
The Golden Knights begin a five-game road trip against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.