The LA Kings dropped a pair of split-squad games, falling 7-2 at home to the Vegas Golden Knights and 4-3 in a shootout on the road to the Vancouver Canucks. Goal scorers were Jeff Carter and Ilya Kovalchuk against Vegas and Adrian Kempe, Tanner Pearson and Emerson Etem in Vancouver.
Jonny Brodzinski was injured in the Vancouver game on a check by Michael Del Zotto that drew a two-minute boarding penalty. Per Kings public relations, it’s an upper-body injury and Brodzinski will be re-evaluated on Friday. I’ll have an update on LAKI when one has been provided.
Dave Lowry, on what he saw in a game the Kings lost 7-2 and had six shots through two periods:
I think we saw the same thing. Obviously, we played on our heels. We didn’t generate enough, and I think we chased the game. We turned over pucks, we didn’t manage the puck the way that we’re going to have to win hockey games. We had some poor reads, gave them some quality opportunities, and they’re skilled. They’re going to finish those plays.
Lowry, on the positives from Jeff Carter and Ilya Kovalchuk scoring:
They each scored a goal. Like, Kovalchuk scored a nice goal. That’s the type of player he is. He’s a very dynamic guy, he has the ability to break open games, he’s a very highly skilled guy. Yeah, it’s nice to see him score goals, but for us, we gave up seven, so we’ll refocus on the right side of the puck and start focusing in on defending. We know when we do that the offense usually comes.
Lowry, on Daniel Brickley playing with confidence in his first preseason game:
I think he played well, and I think the one thing you take from it is you put a young guy with Drew and they seem to settle in and they play against top players. Drew does a really good job of looking after the younger guys. He’s easy to play with because he’s such a dynamic player and he’s always on the right side of the puck defending.
Anze Kopitar, on the positives and negatives from this game:
Well, it’s more negative things than positive things in this game. The first two periods obviously we weren’t very good, and in the third period it was a little better, obviously, making plays, getting through the middle of the ice together, getting up the ice together, having better support, just establishing the forecheck a little bit so we played in their zone a little bit more. The first two periods, it seems like we got caught in between a lot, and obviously they were making plays and they had a bunch of two-on-ones that they scored on.
Kopitar, on building chemistry with Kovalchuk:
We’ve just got to keep on working on our game, obviously getting to know each other a lot better and just taking it step by step. We all knew it wasn’t just going to happen overnight, so it’s a work in progress. But we’ve got to get on it now before the start of the season and it’s too late.
Kopitar, on integrating Kovalchuk onto his line compared to integrating Milan Lucic three years ago:
Looch was definitely more of a straight-line guy, and Kovy’s a little more east-west, so now I guess it’s just a matter of getting used to it and getting to know where he hangs out on the ice and where he is and what spots he likes. There’s a certain system in place, obviously, but it varies from guy to guy. I guess it’s just building the chemistry and plugging away.
Kopitar, on the dearth of regulars playing in the game:
We all know it’s preseason, but you want to work on your game, so there shouldn’t be any excuse for that. You can still work on your game and getting better and building chemistry, especially if the line’s intact, so there’s no excuse for that.
Kovalchuk, on scoring a highlight reel goal:
I don’t think that really matters. We can’t play like that, especially at home. We just left Quickie alone there and had I think six shots after two periods. That’s unacceptable, so we have to be much better than that.
Kovalchuk, on generating chemistry with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown:
It always takes a little time, and coach switched the lines a little bit in the third period to shake the things up. We’ve got to be ready to play with everybody.
Kovalchuk, on whether the game is faster than it was when he had left the NHL:
I didn’t play a regular season game yet, so I’ll tell you after the San Jose game.
Kovalchuk, on the challenges in the loss:
We just need to be more aggressive, play with more emotions. People show up to watch us play. It’s a great atmosphere, so we’ve got to come and show our best. We have one more game at home against Anaheim before the season starts, so we’ve got to be ready for that.
Kovalchuk, on how many preseason games he’ll need to be ready for the season:
Actually today, I felt much better than the first game, so a few more games will be more than enough.
Cal Petersen, on getting into a rhythm in the third period:
Yeah, I think the biggest thing was the team started playing alittle bit better in front. Obviously they got clicking pretty good in the first two periods, and I think probably the biggest thing is just our team started coming around and getting some pressure around their net and the ice kind of tilted our way for a little bnit.
Petersen, on finding rhythm with big stops on Jonathan Marchessault:
Obviously they’re the best in the world, so it’s a little bit of an adjustment just with every level that you go. Any time you can make a couple stops and feel comfortable in net, it’s big for the confidence. Just trying to build on that each time I get the opportunity.
-Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/NHLI