Thrust into start, Brust earns first NHL win

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) … Barry Brust was grateful he had no time to contemplate the enormity of stopping Joe Thornton and his fellow San Jose Sharks. For the Kings’ young goalie, simply doing it was much easier than thinking about it.

Anze Kopitar scored two goals and Brust made 34 saves in his first NHL victory, leading Los Angeles to a 4-2 victory over the Sharks on Thursday night.

Brust, who spent last season and most of this fall with the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester, had been enjoying a quiet stint as Dan Cloutier’s backup while Mathieu Garon nurses a groin injury.

But Brust unexpectedly got the call for his second NHL appearance when a shot hit Cloutier in the arm during pregame warmups. Instead of pulling on a cap and watching from a folding chair in the tunnel leading to the visiting locker room, he was in the center of the action – and he responded like a veteran.

"After that first shot, I calmed down and got some confidence," said Brust, a free-agent signee who is 20-18-1 in 40 AHL appearances for the Monarchs over the past two seasons. "I’m pretty elated. I waited 23 years for this, and it was worth it. … My confidence built as I made my first saves, and that confidence seemed to get transferred to my teammates."

Former AHL All-Stars Derek Armstrong and Michael Cammalleri also scored for the Kings.