April 30 postgame quotes: St. Louis - LA Kings Insider

Ken Hitchcock, on his team’s play in overtime:
“I thought the overtime, we probably played a little bit not to lose, and they gained some confidence from it. We’re still learning how to win these big games. I thought for the three periods, we played a great hockey game. We did the things we needed to do, and we played the way we need to play. And when they got that goal, we probably tightened up a little bit. They showed why they win, because they played with a little more confidence in the OT than we did.”

Hitchcock, on the “psyche” of the team coming back to win in overtime:
“The hockey gods took care of us. They did. I mean, we played a great hockey game. Waking up tomorrow would have been a challenge if we didn’t win the hockey game today. And you hate to say things are “must-wins”, but for us, we’re hopefully going to gain a lot of confidence from this that we can compete with these guys, and not just compete but actually win. I think that it would have been a shame not to win, but when you’re the defending champion, you can’t just knock them off, you’re going to have to stick a pretty big nail in them, and we’re just getting started in this series.”

Hitchcock, on the team’s body language after L.A.’s goal, and what was said heading to overtime:
“You know what? We didn’t say much. They were pretty lively in the room. But I think our play, you just got a feeling that something bad might happen. So you’re a little bit jittery with the puck and stuff like that. That’s something we’ll talk about. We just have to play, and when we play, we’re a good team. But when we kind of get ahead of ourselves and we’re worried about scoring a goal rather than playing the game, that’s what teams that have the experience of winning do. They just play. We did a great job for 60 minutes, but then in the overtime, L.A. started to play, and we started to play a little bit nervous, and so we’ll talk about that tomorrow. It’s a good learning experience.”

Hitchcock, on Alex Steen’s play to force the game-winning goal:
“He re-routed himself on the forecheck. It’s just such an emotional swing here. You’re down, you’re figuring out who’s going to kill a four-minute penalty, and the next thing, the game’s over. I think that’s what leaders do. He has really stepped up in the last month on this hockey club, and he’s really stepped up his game and he’s stepped up his personality on the team. He knew he had to step up today. He played a great hockey game.”

Hitchcock, on when the team’s forecheck executed as well as it did in Tuesday’s win:
“We’ve played a lot like this, to be honest with you, in the last month. We did this against Chicago. We did this against Vancouver. We did this in Minny twice. We’ve played a lot like this. Maybe not as physical or as emotional – that’s what playoffs are. But we’ve been playing at least every second game like this for over a month now. This is the way we’ve been playing. That’s why, when I said to you folks ‘we’re confident,’ we’re playing as well as we’ve played all year. We’re playing that way right now. And all that does is give us an overtime win. That’s how good the hockey club we’re playing against is. So we’re going to have to find a way to keep getting better and better as this series moves on, because we know in that room, they will.”

Hitchcock, on the importance of the start and Los Angeles facing adversity:
“I think it’s more for us. From our standpoint, we needed to talk about something other than coming close. We needed to start talking about ‘here’s how you win.’ You can only go to that well so many times or the players stop believing in it. We gave a big push today and were rewarded for it, so we’ve got something to draw on. We’ve got some experience now to draw on. If you keep going to the well about knocking on the door, knocking on the door, I think they stop listening after a while…So for me, we’ve got something to sell tomorrow morning, and hopefully we come back with a similar effort.”

Alex Steen, on the win:
“It’s a big start. I thought we came out with a lot of jump and played a solid three periods. Unfortunate goal to send it into overtime. You know, I thought we did a good job of re-grouping in here. Both teams kind of sat back in OT. But it’s a big win for us.”

Steen, on Brian Elliott:
“Els played exceptional for us and made big saves in OT to keep it alive.”

Steen, on going after Jonathan Quick for the game-winning goal:
“That’s completely and honestly what I thought. I just had got on the ice, they had been out a bit, so once the puck went down I figured I had more gas in the tank and I took off. When I checked over my shoulder his outlet was on my left side, his other guy was a little slow coming up so I didn’t think he would go that way, so that’s why I took that route and I got lucky.’’

Jay Bouwmeester, on the Kings:
“You know that’s a team that will hang around, they won’t give you anything for free. We might be in a for long one.”

David Backes, on the Kings:
“That’s a resilient team over there. They showed it last year over four rounds and hoisted a Cup. We have to show that same sort of determination and commitment to our team game at the start of puck drop Thursday.”

Backes, on Alex Steen:
“Steener’s a guy that works his butt off and gets rewarded there doing all the extra things that he does on the ice.”

Backes, on the win:
“You don’t draw it up where you give up the tying goal with 30 seconds left. Those are the no-no’s of hockey. But I think it shows a bit of the character in here. Els was phenomenal and had to make some big saves in overtime to give us a chance. The hockey gods rewarded us, it seems like, for some good work tonight.”

-St. Louis player quotes courtesy of Pierre LeBrun

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