They are hockey's equivalent of a quick cleaning, a sure-fire way to spiff up the place before getting to the serious stuff later.

Yes, things often look a lot better after a game against the struggling Buffalo Sabres.

The Kings have been struggling on the penalty kill, dealing with injuries to forwards Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll and defenseman Matt Greene and inconsistency. Those concerns eased Thursday night after the Kings beat Buffalo, 2-0, sparked by power-play goals from centers Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar at Staples Center.

For Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, his first shutout of the season and the 26th of his career came on a milestone night, marking his 300th regular-season game. This was the second shutout of the season for the Kings as Ben Scrivens had the other, on Oct. 13 at Florida.

The milestone caught Quick by surprise.

"I didn't know it was 300 until they announced it in the second period," he said. "We got two points out of it. It's what we were looking for.

"It was the first time in awhile that we didn't give up a power-play goal. So that's a positive, something to build on."

Typically, he wasn't basking in the glow of the shutout, saying: "6-5, 1-0, it's all the same. Two points."

Quick faced 19 shots and was tested early and often in the first period by the Sabres, who have won three of 18 games this season. Later, one of Quick's best saves seemed to take the fight out of the Sabres. With the Kings holding a 1-0 lead, Quick made a sliding stop on Buffalo forward Corey Tropp with 10:32 left in the second period.