Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray wanted to give Jonathan Quick additional rest this season, but it's been difficult to keep his brilliant young goaltender on the bench.
Ottawa Senators coach Cory Clouston is still trying to determine which of his goalies gives his team the best chance for success.
Quick is scheduled to be in net again Monday night when the Pacific Division-leading Kings continue their four-game Eastern swing against the Senators, who are hoping a return home can help them get back on track following an emotional week.
Second in the NHL in minutes (4,258) last season when he went 39-24-7 with a 2.54 goals-against average, Quick has been even better in 2010-11, going 11-2-0 with a 1.82 GAA for the best start by a goalie in franchise history. Murray's plan to get backup Jonathan Bernier, 2-4-0 with a 3.18 GAA, in at least once per week could soon change.
"It's getting close to that," Murray told the Kings' official website after Saturday's 4-3 shootout victory over Boston. "I might wait for that decision (until) after we get back from this road trip."
While Bernier will likely start Wednesday in Montreal, which is near his hometown in Quebec, Quick is expected to be in net against Ottawa as he looks to build on Saturday's 38-save performance. He stopped 16 shots in the third period and all six he faced in the shootout as Los Angeles (13-6-0) ended a three-game skid.
"Right from the first game of the preseason, (Quick is) great," said center Michal Handzus, who scored in regulation and netted the only goal in the shootout. "He feels confident and we feel confident when he's in there."
Quick is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA in two starts against Ottawa.
Clouston's best option in net is not as clear cut. After going 7-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA from Oct. 26-Nov. 13, Brian Elliott has yielded 14 goals while losing his last three starts.
Pascal Leclaire hasn't been much better, turning away just 36 of 45 shots in two appearances since returning from a groin injury.
Leclaire is 2-0-1 with a 0.97 GAA in three starts against Los Angeles, while Elliott is 0-2-0 with a 3.54 GAA in this matchup.
This will be the Senators' first game at Scotiabank Place since assistant coach Luke Richardson's 14-year-old daughter committed suicide Nov. 12. With heavy hearts, the Senators (9-10-1) went 1-3-0 on a trip that ended with Friday's 5-2 loss to St. Louis.
"It puts things into perspective," center Mike Fisher, who scored his first goal in eight games on Friday, told the Senators' official web site earlier this week. "... You just feel so bad. You feel helpless."
Coming off a 7-2-0 run, Ottawa has been outscored 17-4 during a three-game slide.
The Senators, whose general manager Bryan Murray is Terry Murray's brother, have also dropped three straight and six of seven to Los Angeles. Led by two goals and an assist from Justin Williams, the host Kings won 6-3 on Dec. 3 in the teams' last matchup.
Los Angeles won 1-0 in its last visit to Ottawa on Feb. 3, 2009. Handzus scored with 2:39 remaining as Clouston dropped his first game on the Senators' bench following the firing of former coach Craig Hartsburg. Facing the Senators for the first time, Quick made 29 saves for his third career shutout.
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