MONTREAL — Jonathan Quick used a milestone night to post a 40-save shutout and pick up another win for the red-hot Los Angeles Kings.
Adrian Kempe and Tyler Toffoli scored 11 seconds apart in the first period as the Kings downed the struggling Montreal Canadiens 4-0 in Quick's 500th career game on Thursday night.
"It's a win, most importantly," said Quick. "We're in the thick of this (six-game) road trip and it's important for our team to keep playing good hockey."
As for the milestone, he said: "It's cool and all, but we have number 501 in a couple of days, so I'll get ready for that. Keep working, keep grinding."
Anze Kopitar and Kurtis MacDermid also scored for the Western Conference-leading Kings (8-1-1), who are off to their best start ever. The win came nine days after a 5-2 win over Montreal 5-2 in Los Angeles.
Quick was solid from start to finish, but he was also up against a team that has started the NHL season in a scoring slump. Montreal, with only 17 goals in 10 games, has a paltry 4.4 shooting percentage.
The Canadiens (2-7-1) thought that was behind them when they beat Florida 5-1 on Tuesday night, but the bad luck and worse shooting were back in force as they outshot Los Angeles 40-27. Quick posted his 46th career shutout and his second this season.
"They put a lot of pucks toward the net," said Quick. "The rebounds that were left out there, the guys were good at picking them up.
"There were some great blocked shots too. That's good to see."
At the other end, Carey Price fell victim to funny bounces on two goals and an astonishing wrist shot goal by Kopitar, but the Bell Centre crowd turned its frustration on the goaltender instead of the forwards firing blanks with mock cheers for easy saves on dump-ins.
"It's unfortunate and probably not so deserving for Price," said Quick. "He's probably the best goalie in the world.
"But they didn't give up. They kept fighting. They have a great hockey team and they're going to right the ship and get going."
Price heard the boos and the Bronx cheers. The 2015 Vezina Trophy winner and 2014 Olympic champion admits he is off to as rough a start as his teammates.
"For me, I've just got to focus on my job," said Price. "I've got to find a way to stop the puck and keep the guys in it.
"It just seems I'm not doing that right now, so I've got to find a way to do it."
Price and Quick were both drafted in 2005, fifth and 72nd respectively, and have similar career numbers.
Quick, the 72nd overall draft pick in 2005 who led the Kings to Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014, improved his career totals to 266-168-54. Price is 272-180-56 in 518 games.
The Canadiens had a 16-8 edge in first period shots and missed a handful of chances, but it was Los Angeles that struck first. Price cleared the puck to the left boards where it got past Paul Byron. Derek Forbort shot it toward the net and Kempe tipped it in from the left circle at 18:59. It was Kempe's sixth goal in his last five games.
Play had just resumed when a Victor Mete turnover in the Montreal zone allowed Toffoli to walk in and blast in his third goal of the campaign at 19:10.
Montreal was all over the Kings in the second frame and again, it was Los Angeles that scored as Kopitar broke in with each team down a man and snapped a wrist shot to the top corner at 14:35.
MacDermid's shot went into the air off Andrew Shaw's stick near the blueline and landed behind Price 3:58 into the third. Kempe picked up an assist to give the 21-year-old Swede nine points this season.
"Right now, we're getting chances and they don't seem to be going in," said Montreal coach Claude Julien. "You've got to stick with it.
"Everyone's disappointed. I know our fans are. But we're competing. You just hope your luck turns eventually and you start scoring goals."
The Kings were without injured forwards Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik and Kyle Clifford.
Montreal's Nikita Scherbak left in the second period with a lower body injury after a collision with a goal post.