Forget the torch passing.
Maybe there should have been the passing of a goalie stick when legend Rogie Vachon and Jonathan Quick convened in the dressing room Saturday afternoon after Quick became the winningest goalie in Kings history.
Quick made 24 saves in recording his fifth shutout of the season as the Kings beat the Florida Panthers, 4-0, at Staples Center. Scoring for the Kings were Trevor Lewis, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and defenseman Alec Martinez. They have twice shut out the Panthers this season.
The Kings got balance by tweaking some of their lines, and putting Richards on the fourth line with Lewis proved beneficial. Richards scored his first goal since March 6 at Winnipeg and Lewis had two points. But the Kings finished the game without Brown as he left with an upper-body injury in the second period after a collision with Panthers defenseman Dylan Olsen.
Brown was scheduled for evaluation in Los Angeles. The team left after the game for Philadelphia and it is possible he could join them there later or during the three-game trip if all goes well.
The Kings have won back-to-back games after a three-game slide and you could say that Quick is compiling wins every way possible, of late. The 171st victory of his career, tying him with Vachon, came in a shootout Thursday against Washington. He passed the mark, hitting No. 172, with a shutout, the 30th of his career.
A nice round number.
"I wish I would have set the bar a little higher," Vachon said, smiling. "That's fine. It was well-deserved. He's going to set some incredible records before his career is over. He's going to play maybe 15, 20 years. So he's going to set some records that I think no other goalie in the league, coming later, will ever touch."
Quick, who turned 28 in January, laughed when asked whether he was going to play 15 to 20 more years.
Said Vachon: "He's just a puppy."
It was a nice series of moments between the goalies. Vachon was the one who turned a whole generation of Southern Californians into hockey fans at the Forum in the 1970s, and Quick rewarded those aging boomers with a Stanley Cup in 2012, via his most-valuable-player playoff performance.
Quick's first win in the NHL was in the 2007-08 season, a tough campaign for the struggling Kings in which he was one of seven goalies to make an appearance. He beat Buffalo, 8-2, on Dec. 6.
"Obviously, you're a lot younger then," Quick said, recalling the first win. "So you're hoping maybe you get another start. What can you do to try to prove yourself."
Said Vachon, joking: "Please don't ask me about my first win. I have no clue. It's been like 50 years."
The shutout was highlighted by a candidate for save of the year. Quick reached back and made an incredible glove save on forward Tomas Fleischmann three minutes into the second period when the Panthers were on the power play with the Kings leading, 2-0.
The play was reviewed and the call on the ice was upheld.
Forget the torch passing.