There are a variety of puns to be made about night school, striving for tenure or being recognized by the faculty, but they were used at just about every stop along the trip in reference to a player nicknamed “The Professor.” Ben Scrivens, as a substitute… goaltender… earned the NHL’s First Star of the Week by virtue of a 3-0-1 record, a 0.66 goals against average, a .977 save percentage, and back-to-back shutouts of the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.
“Shutouts aren’t an individual thing. It’ a team thing every single time. Credit goes to the guys in front blocking shots and keeping the shots to the outside as best as we could,” he said on FOX Sports West following his 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on November 15.
By virtue of his stellar play, the Los Angeles Kings swept the three New York-area teams in order for the second time in club history and first time since January, 2002.
Scrivens’ only blemish was brief, as he replaced Jonathan Quick with 1:20 remaining in overtime on November 12 before dropping a 3-2 shootout to the Buffalo Sabres. He drew the shootout loss despite not having actually faced a shot in in-game action. Quick, who was unable to finish the game against the Sabres, returned to Los Angeles the following day and is expected to miss three-to-six weeks with a grade two grade strain, ceding the crease in the upcoming period to Scrivens.
After his appearance in the Buffalo game, Scrivens stopped 86 of the next 88 shots faced to lead the team to wins over the Islanders, Devils and Rangers.
He also posted consecutive shutouts on February 16 and 18, 2013 while with the Toronto Maple Leafs. As noted by NHL.com, he posted consecutive shutouts in the 2010 East Coast Athletic Conference Tournament against Harvard, Brown and then Union in the ECAC Championship.
The 27-year-old was signed as an undrafted free agent by Toronto in 2010 and joined the Los Angeles organization along with Matt Frattin and a second round draft pick in exchange for Jonathan Bernier on June 23, 2013.
The Western Conference swept the weekly three stars, with Dallas center Tyler Seguin earning the second star with his five-goal, seven-point performance, and Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding earning the third star by virtue of a 3-0-0 record, 1.38 goals against average and .939 save percentage.