Brent Burns practically set up base camp next to Jonathan Quick in the third period, the San Jose forward getting clean looks and helping generate chance after chance against Quick.
The Kings' goalie had to be at his very best under a prolonged third-period siege by Burns and his teammates, reaching back and pulling off a virtuoso performance from his 2012 playoff playbook.
That playbook, as you might remember, is titled, "Most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs." Quick channeled that memory in the Kings' 2-0 victory against the Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, making 35 saves Tuesday night at Staples Center.
BOX SCORE: Kings 2, San Jose 0
It was Quick's sixth career playoff shutout — and his second against the Sharks, the other coming in the 2011 playoffs. Since dropping the opening two games of the first-round series against the St. Louis Blues, Quick and the Kings have reeled off five consecutive victories.
"He's been our MVP the last couple of years and tonight he was our best player and that's Quick being Quick," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "I think you guys should be used to it by now."
Of longer-range concern is the status of Kings center Jarret Stoll, who was injured late in the second period off a high hit from the Sharks' Raffi Torres, who was called for charging.
Stoll was not on the bench during the third period and his spot on the third line was taken by Colin Fraser. "We weren't resting him and he didn't come back," said Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, who did not provide an additional update.
Defenseman Slava Voynov had a hand in both of the Kings' goals, scoring the first, with 12.9 seconds left in the first period, a blow after the Sharks had the run of play in the opening 20 minutes. He assisted on the second, his shot glancing off Mike Richards and deflecting past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi at 12:30 of the second period.
"It was off my calf," Richards said, looking amused.
Voynov's goal gave the Kings a major lift heading into the dressing room and Richards thought it carried over to the second period.
"It looked like we were the rusty team at the beginning of the game with turnovers and it seemed like we were a little bit slow coming up the ice and [Quick] had to make some big saves for us and keep us in it," Richards said.
"As the game went on, we started getting a little bit better, but at first we looked like the sluggish team."
Quick had to hit his top form in the third period. The Sharks made a big push, even though it came late. They applied major pressure, outshooting the Kings, 12-2 to open the third and outshot the Kings, 16-4, overall in the period.
As always, Quick was understated, especially when asked about lifting his game in the playoffs from the regular season.
"Well, you'd be kind of admitting that you're selling your team short during the regular season, no?' Quick said. "I try to approach every game the same way.
"Every night you come in — no matter what time of the year it is, preseason, regular season, playoffs. You're trying to win a game. We were able to do that tonight. Still got a lot of work ahead of us. So we're going to get ready for Game 2."
He was far more expansive when it came to the dynamic skills of Voynov.
"He's always played this well," Quick said. "The puck is going in the net for him. I obviously notice him a lot more in our D-zone. And he's great in our end. He's done that for the past two years since he's been called up last year.
"He's very calm. He calms plays down. We could be scrambling and his heart rate won't break 80, I think. He's great to have on the back end.
So does Quick just do a better job of hiding his heart rate?
"It gets up there," Quick said, laughing.