LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although his shutout streak has come to an end, Ben Scrivens figures to have a solid opportunity to begin a new one against a team he shut down recently.
The red-hot goalie will try to beat the New Jersey Devils for the second time in less than a week Thursday night when the Los Angeles Kings seek their seventh win in eight games.
The Kings (15-6-1) appeared to suffer a devastating blow on Nov. 12 when 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick sustained a groin strain that is expected to keep him sidelined until late December.
But Scrivens, who made only two starts before Quick went down, has become an unlikely sensation by posting a 4-0-0 record and stopping 105 of 109 shots since taking over between the pipes.
Even though his shutout streak ended at 191 minutes, 19 seconds on Valtteri Filppula’s second-period goal Tuesday, Scrivens continued his outstanding run with 19 saves in a 5-2 victory over visiting Tampa Bay.
The backup fell just short of Quick’s franchise-record shutout streak of 202 minutes, 11 seconds.
“(Scrivens) didn’t have much work tonight,” said coach Darryl Sutter, who credited the entire defensive effort. “He made a big save in the third period. Our team, we don’t give up a lot.”
New Jersey (8-8-5) was one of the teams to fall victim during Scrivens’ hot streak last week, failing to get any of its 26 shots past him in Friday’s 2-0 loss to the visiting Kings.
That’s the surging Devils’ only regulation loss over their last seven games. They’ve won four of five and are in the midst of a 5-1-1 stretch after opening a three-game California trip with a 4-3 overtime win in Anaheim on Wednesday.
Jaromir Jagr scored the tying goal with 1:01 left in regulation and Travis Zajac got credit for the winning goal at 2:58 of overtime after the Ducks put it in their own net.
“We started to win some forecheck battles and stuck with it right to the end.” Zajac said. “We got rewarded late in the game on Jagr’s goal. It was kind of a lucky one there.”
The 41-year-old Jagr, who leads New Jersey with eight goals and 17 points, had three goals in his two trips to Los Angeles last season while with Dallas.
While they rank near the bottom of the league with 2.2 goals per game, the Devils have shown improvement by totaling 16 over their last five games.
Martin Brodeur finished with 22 saves in Wednesday’s win, though New Jersey is likely to give Cory Schneider the nod in the second of back-to-back games.
Schneider, 1-5-3 despite a 1.98 GAA, stopped 19 of 20 shots in last week’s loss to the Kings. He’s 2-1-0 with an 0.67 GAA in three career starts in Los Angeles, including two in the first round of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals while with Vancouver.
The Devils could have their hands full with Anze Kopitar, who has five goals and six assists in his last seven home games.
Tyler Toffoli, called up after the team placed Jeff Carter on injured reserve because of a foot injury, has filled in nicely with four goals and eight points in eight games.
The Kings have averaged 3.8 goals while winning eight of 10 at home. They’re also looking to earn a point in their eighth straight game overall.
Los Angeles has won eight of 12 meetings with New Jersey, including a 4-2 series win in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.