LAS VEGAS — Jonathan Quick didn’t have the sharpest debut, but he did enough to notch his first victory with the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday in a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Quick, a two-time Stanley Cup champion acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday — two days after he was traded from the Los Angeles Kings — had 25 saves in the victory.
“I felt pretty comfortable right from the get-go,” Quick said. “Obviously, a different setting, a different color jersey, but once you get out there, you just try to play hockey.”
Quick, who knows the environment in Vegas as an opponent all too well, was greeted warmly by the fans when he led the Golden Knights onto the ice before the game.
“It’s a fun building to play in,” Quick said. “These fans are great, we’ve known that since day one. Definitely a warm reception, and I enjoyed that.”
Where Quick, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, fits into coach Bruce Cassidy’s plans the rest of the regular season and into the postseason remains to be seen. He could work his way into a starting role or be a backup like he was this season in Los Angeles. But, after this whirlwind week, the veteran will be ready for whatever comes his way.
“I’m a goalie,” Quick said, “so, stop the puck, try to win.”
Ivan Barbashev, another recent acquisition in Las Vegas, scored twice, and Shea Theodore and Reilly Smith also tallied in the win for Vegas.
Barbashev is very comfortable in front of the net, and that’s where the forward found himself twice with the puck on his stick. He made the most of it.
“I think you’ll see a lot more of that,” Cassidy said. “That’s where he goes, that’s where he hangs out. He’s comfortable there, right out in front of the net. He was ready to use his feet, his stick, whatever is necessary.”
Mike Matheson, Alex Belzile and Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored for Montreal, which lost its third straight to finish a four-game trip. Jake Allen had 24 saves.
“I never feel like we’re out of it,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “The good thing (today) was we were only down two (after the first period). It could have been way worse. I know we have the type of game that we can come back.”
The Golden Knights led 3-0 entering the third period, but Montreal’s Mike Matheson scored at 2:04 to get the Canadiens on the board. It was Matheson’s fifth goal of the season.
Vegas restored its three-goal lead as Barbashev — acquired from St. Louis last Sunday — got his second of the game and 12th of the season at 7:44.
Belzile pulled the Canadiens back within two just 23 seconds later with his second of the season.
Montreal pulled to 4-3 another 35 seconds later as Harvey-Pinard took a pass from Jesse Ylonen from behind the net to beat Quick for his eighth.
The Golden Knights will open a five-game road trip against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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