Rapid Reaction, feat. Curtis Zupke of the LA Times
Willie Desjardins, on the loss:
I thought we played a really good first period. I thought that was probably the best period we’ve played since I’ve got here. Guys were working hard, were breaking out quick. Just a real solid period. The second wasn’t quite as good. We weren’t quite as crisp. I think in the third, some of the guys ran out of gas a little bit. They got some momentum. Again, it comes down to the specialty teams. But I do believe we can be better in that, and I think we’ll get that part going, but that’s the part that’s hurting us right now.
Desjardins, on Nate Thompson earning ice time and his line’s performance:
Nate’s played hard for us. I think Clifford’s played hard as well. He didn’t get much ice time, but he always plays hard. And that’s what we need here. We need guys that are going to work hard. If we get that throughout the lineup, then we’ll have success. Right now, we’re rewarding Thompson because he’s doing it, and we have to get it from a few more guys.
Desjardins, on Cal Petersen:
That’s a tough night for him to come in again. I thought he was good, especially early. For a young guy, this is a tough building. I thought the group played well for 40. I just think we ran out of gas a little bit in the last one.
Drew Doughty, on the loss:
We can’t let a lead slip away like that. We can’t be giving up that many shots either. Cal had to make too many big saves. It just wasn’t a good game.
Doughty, on countering Nashville:
We were trying, we know what they’re doing. They were just stepping up on us at the blue line every time. All we had to do was get the puck behind them and get to work that way. But we weren’t able to do it, and it was a little bit frustrating.
Doughty, on Cal Petersen:
He played awesome, but we we’re counting on him way too much.
Cal Petersen, on starting in back-to-back games:
It was good. I mean, I didn’t really feel anything different. I played a couple of back-to-backs last year and definitely after college, you know when you’re up at this level, I don’t think you really have an option. When the coach calls your number you kind of have to go. I felt fine, I felt great. Obviously a tough building to play in, but it was too bad we fell on the wrong side of it.
Petersen, on whether it’s a challenge to stay collected in a raucous building like Bridgestone:
I think you kind of just have to try and remove yourself from the environment and not let it play too much of a factor. I think if you get caught up in the crowd and the fans and the things that are going on around you, I think that you don’t really have the mental capacity to be able to handle all that stuff. I mean I try to do my best at least to block those sort of things out, but it’s a good building … and they have a good team. But like I said, I feel like I play my best when I try to take that factor out of it.
Petersen, on acknowledging that this is a really intense start to his career:
Of course. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I appreciate the opportunity to be able to play against high-end teams and hard buildings and a bit of a baptism by fire I guess and get it out of the way and I think when you play those games you realize that you can compete at that level and compete in that environment. I think from that point to experience that part of this is very good.
Petersen, on his read on Calle Jarnkrok’s third goal:
Just a pretty solid shot. I think that guy scored two pretty similar goals like that. He’s got a good release, just cut me out or whatever and he was able to find it high glove, but it wasn’t — I wouldn’t say the greatest goal. Definitely a goal I could stop.
Petersen, on working with Ranford to prepare against shooters he’s never seen:
It’s definitely a challenge when you’re going back-to-back and you don’t have practices to prepare or whatever, but these guys do a great job of getting us the right resources so we’re as prepared as possible. So I think probably the thing with Billy is just concentrate on myself and the things that I need to do to be successful and not so much pay attention to what they’re doing. I think if I kind of narrow that focus and just worry about myself that’s where I’ll find the most success.
–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 34-28-9 all-time against Nashville, a record that includes a road mark of 17-13-5. With the win, the Predators have won four straight games in the series. These teams have two games remaining: February 21 at Bridgestone Arena and March 14 at Staples Center.
–With the loss, the Kings fell to 2-6-1 against the Western Conference, 1-5-0 against the Central Division, 1-3 in two-goal games, 1-10-1 when their opponent scores first, 2-4-0 when tied after one period, 5-1-0 when leading after two periods and 4-7-1 when outshot by their opponent.
–Dion Phaneuf became the 326th player in Los Angeles history to play in 1,000 NHL games. He is the 55th player to have played for L.A. to reach 1,000th game and the 21st to do so in a Kings uniform. The next closest player on the team is Anze Kopitar, who played his 940th game Saturday night.
–Via LA Kings PR, Cal Petersen became just the second Kings rookie goaltender to have the first two starts of his career come on consecutive days. The last time this happened was when Wayne Rutledge started games on consecutive nights on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, 1967. Rutledge and the Kings beat Philadelphia on the 14th, and then were also victorious over the Minnesota North Stars on the 15th.
–Los Angeles’ 31 shot attempts during five-on-five play were a season-low.
–With a goal and an assist, Anze Kopitar ended a five-game point-less streak that tied his career-high.
–The Kings attempted 41 total shots (28 on goal, 9 blocked, 4 missed). The Predators attempted 72 shots (43 on goal, 16 blocked, 13 missed). Ryan Ellis, Yannick Weber and Roman Josi tied with a game-high five shots on goal, while Jeff Carter finished with a team-high four.
–Los Angeles won 33-of-69 faceoffs (48%). It was only the fourth time in the last 14 games the they did not win the majority of the faceoffs. Adrian Kempe won 4-of-11, Michael Amadio won 1-of-1, Anze Kopitar won 16-of-30, Ilya Kovalchuk won 0-of-2, Alex Iafallo won 0-of-1, Nate Thompson won 4-of-7 and Jeff Carter won 8-of-17.
–Lead photo via John Russell/NHLI