Rapid Reaction, feat. Ryan Leslie of Sportsnet
Willie Desjardins, on any checking mindset entering the game, given personnel challenges:
There was a bit, for sure. They’re a good team. Coming in there, we played last night, so we knew that was going to be a bit of a challenge. I thought we had a good first period, though. I thought our guys skated well. We had some chances, we didn’t hit the net, so we didn’t get the shots but we had some good chances. It came down to the third. I think coming into a game like this, if we could be tied going into the third, that would be good. I think there was a play we could’ve maybe had a call going one way and they get the call going the other, and that seemed to be the difference.
Desjardins, on Cal Petersen’s evolution, game-to-game:
For a young player he’s been really quite remarkable to come in with his composure. He gives up that early one which could throw anybody off their game. It didn’t. He stayed with it and was solid throughout the game.
Desjardins, on whether it’s difficult not to get wins with how Petersen has played:
It is tough. IT’s tough at any time, but we’ve had good goaltending throughout. Quickie had a good game up in Edmonton, too, and we couldn’t pull it out. We’ve had a few of those. It was a tough one tonight, but I thought the guys played hard.
Desjardins, on Trevor Lewis’ impact on the penalty kill and special teams:
We’ve given up a lot, which has been hard. It’s not just our power play, but our specialty teams. Somebody said the other day that the last 10 games or 11 games we were the least number of goals [ED: -against?] five-on-five in the league, which is a pretty great stat for us, but at the other end, we’ve got to do way better on the other side. It’s something that we’ve got to address, and we’ve got to find a way to be better. [Reporter: Is it simple as not having him on the PK, or is it more than that?] No, one guy won’t do it. He certainly gives us a little bit more depth. We’ve got a couple young guys going. But that’s not the case. It just seems that right now, whatever we do, it doesn’t seem to work. We get caught halfway here or halfway there, so we’ll have to address it when we go home.
Desjardins, on the morale in the dressing room:
I think the mood’s great. They’re really disappointed after a loss and they’re on edge, not happy about it at all, and that’s the way they should be. It’s kind of like we [ED: previously?] thought ‘well, we might not win,’ so it didn’t seem to be affecting anybody, but it affects guys now, and that’s a good sign. But in saying that, it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge every night to come in. This is a good team. We knew that. We were going to have to have our best effort to win.
Desjardins, on whether Ilya Kovalchuk injured his ankle in the Edmonton game:
It’s an infection, so it wasn’t anything with the game. It’s something that flared up. It’s hard to say how long that’ll take.
Alex Iafallo, on the large shots-on-goal differential:
It’s tough, you know. The first two periods I felt like we were buzzing a little bit, but we definitely need more shots. I don’t know what we ended up with — 14? 13? [Reporter: 14] We need to get more shots than that and quality shots, too. Make sure we’re driving the net hard.
Iafallo, on if the Kings’ lack of shots was a credit to Calgary:
I think it was a little bit of both, but at the same time more of us. We’ve got to focus on getting to the net more and driving their D back and pushing back on the forecheck.
Iafallo, on whether it is “almost criminal” to not be able to get Petersen a win in games like tonight’s:
Yeah, we need to help him out. He had an amazing game. He had some key saves and we have to give back to him and we couldn’t do it for him, but he had a hell of a game for us.
Cal Petersen, on what was going through his mind in the third period:
I think the game was obviously up for grabs the whole third period. You know, they had some momentum, but again we did a fairly good job of weathering the storm and we were just kind of looking for a little bit of a break there, but it was kind of unfortunate that we couldn’t kill that one off. It kind of sucks.
Petersen, on shaking off Backlund’s goal that came on the first shift of the game:
I mean, it’s obviously not ideal. It’s just kind of a weird shot that kind of caught we weird, but it’s better it happens then than at the end of the game where you have a whole game to come back from. Obviously it’s not ideal to put the guys down 1-0, so that part’s on me, but luckily had the whole game to battle back and they did so it was good.
Petersen, on Johnny Gaudreau:
He’s obviously all world — played the world championships with him so I got to see a little bit of that in practice. He’s obviously fantastic player and he’s somebody to be aware of and he had a good game tonight. He had a lot of looks.
Petersen, on Gaudreau’s wraparound chance that toed the goal line:
Yeah, yeah, no he was shimmy-shakin’ back there a little bit. It was hard to keep track of, but I don’t know. You see something like that and hopefully you sort of holster it for the next time he tries it.
Petersen, on Gaudreau hitting the post several times:
Yeah. I mean, like I said, he had some good opportunities, but the post is part of the goalie’s equipment a little bit too, so you know I forced him wide I guess.
–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 97-114-30 all-time against the Calgary franchise, a record that includes a road mark of 38-67-17.These teams have two games remaining: March 25 at Scotiabank Saddledome and April 1 at Staples Center.
–With the loss, the Kings fell to 5-10-1 against the Western Conference, 3-4-1 against the Pacific Division, 4-9 in three-goal games, 1-14-1 when their opponent scores first, 1-10-1 when trailing after the first period, 2-3-1 when tied after two periods and 7-10-1 when outshot by their opponent.
–With a 2-for-3 penalty kill, Los Angeles is 19-for-32 on the penalty kill over the last 10 games, dating back to the home loss to Toronto on November 13.
–The Kings’ 31 five-on-five shot attempts tied their 31 attempts in the Nashville game on November 17 for the season-low.
–Jake Muzzin led all Los Angeles skaters with 24:02 of ice time. Other Kings skaters with at least 20 minutes of ice time were Drew Doughty (23:10), Alec Martinez (21:38), Derek Forbort (21:06), Anze Kopitar (21:05) and Tyler Toffoli (20:11).
–Los Angeles attempted 34 shots (14 on goal, 11 blocked, 9 missed). Calgary attempted 58 shots (37 on goal, 9 blocked, 12 missed). Elias Lindholm led all skaters with six shots on goal, while Alex Iafallo and Dustin Brown tied with a team-high three.
Saturday, December 1 is an off-day for the team. The next practice is a morning skate scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 2.
–Lead photo via Gerry Thomas/NHLI