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Kings talk of playoff push after victory

Jonathan Quick shuts down the Devils as L.A. improves to 3-1 on trip with its sixth victory in seven games.

February 08, 2009|Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. — The Stanley Cup playoffs have become a realistic goal for Patrick O'Sullivan and the Kings.

O'Sullivan scored on a penalty shot and had an assist, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves in the Kings' 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

Jarret Stoll and Anze Kopitar also scored to help the Kings win for the sixth time in their last seven games, all with Quick in goal.

The Kings improved to 3-1 on their five-game trip and are making a bid to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001-02, moving within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"We're a young group of guys and it's been a learning experience at times this year," O'Sullivan said. "Since Christmas, we have really picked up our game. We have to keep trying to push forward and make the playoffs. That's our goal."

In the process, the Kings cooled off the Devils, who came into the game on a 9-1 run. Dainius Zubrus ended Quick's shutout bid at 10:41 of the third, on a shot that deflected off a defender. He came close to his second road shutout in a week, having blanked Ottawa, 1-0, on Tuesday.

"He's grown very quickly in his time here," Kings Coach Terry Murray said. "It's a great opportunity for him and he's taking advantage. He's going to be better because of this group of games we're playing on this road trip."

The Kings broke the game open with three goals in the second, capped by O'Sullivan's penalty shot at 14:37. It was the Kings' first successful penalty shot since Jan. 12, 2006 vs. the Boston Bruins.

O'Sullivan was awarded the shot when Devils defenseman Mike Mottau gloved a loose puck in the New Jersey crease.

Earlier, Stoll opened the scoring with a power-play goal from the point at 10:23 as Dustin Brown provided an effective screen in front of goalie Scott Clemmensen.

Kopitar made it 2-0 at 12:28, tipping O'Sullivan's shot past Clemmensen.

The Devils thought they got a power-play goal from Zubrus at 3:07 of the first. The score was wiped out by a video review that determined Zubrus kicked the puck into the net.

It was the second straight home defeat for the Devils.

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