Jonathan Quick’s win on his Vegas debut felt very comfortable

ESPN News Services2 minutes to read

LAS VEGAS — Jonathan Quick wasn’t making his debut, but he did enough to earn his first win with the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Quick, the two-time Stanley Cup champion, who was picked up by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday — two days after being knocked out by the Los Angeles Kings — scored 25 in the win.

“I felt completely at ease from the start,” Quick said. “Obviously, a different place, a different color jersey, but once you get outside, you’re just trying to play hockey.”

Quick, who knows the environment in Vegas well as a competitor, was greeted warmly by 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 amazing, we’ve known it since day one. Definitely a warm reception, and I enjoyed that.”

Where Quick, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, still fits in coach Bruce Cassidy’s plans for the rest of the regular season and into the postseason. He could work his way into a starting role or be a backup as he was this season in Los Angeles. But, after this whirlwind week, the veteran will be ready for whatever comes his way.

Quick said, “I’m a goalkeeper, so stop the ball and try to win.”

Another recent Las Vegas acquisition, Ivan Barbashev scored twice, and Shea Theodore and Riley Smith scored the win for Vegas.

Barbashev is very comfortable in front of the net, and here the striker twice found himself with the puck on his stick. He took advantage of it.

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“I think you’ll see a lot of that,” Cassidy said. “That’s where he goes, where he hangs out. He’s comfortable there, right in front of the net. He was ready to use his feet, his stick, whatever was necessary.”

Mike Matheson, Alex Belzel and Rafael Harvey Benard scored for Montreal, which lost its third in a row, ending a four-game trip. Jake Allen made 24 saves.

“I never feel like we’re out of it,” said Montreal coach Martin St. Louis. “The good thing (today) is that we were only down twice (after the first half). It could have been a lot worse. I know we have the kind of game we can come back to.”

The Golden Knights took a 3-0 lead 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 their three-goal lead as Barbashev—acquired from St. Louis last Sunday—got his second goal of the game and 12th of the season at 7:44.

Belzell pulled the Canadiens to within two seconds after just 23 seconds with his second touchdown of the season.

Montreal trailed another 4-3 after 35 seconds when Harvey Benard took a pass from Jesse Ylonen from behind the net to beat Quick in the 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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