Rapid Reaction, feat. Dieter Ruehle
Willie Desjardins, on how big Nikita Scherbak’s goal was after Vegas scored early:
It was big. They had a little bit of life off that, but I thought we started the game well – we were playing well. But, it’s good to get that response where all of a sudden you’re back even. Goals haven’t come easy for us, so it was nice to get that one.
Desjardins, on whether five goals against a good team in a win was “catharsis”:
Yeah, they’re a good team. What was great was the specialty teams. I thought our leaders did a great job today. They talked about the power play and penalty killing, and we responded with a great effort on the kill tonight.
Desjardins, on younger players and lineup decisions when Trevor Lewis and Ilya Kovalchuk return:
I’ll worry about that when we get there. Those guys have lots of growing to do. It was good to see Scherbak in there. I thought his skills, he’s got good skill. But it’s always nice to see that in the lineup. At the same time, we have to make sure we keep growing our guys and putting them in the right situations to succeed. [Reporter: How do you feel he fit in on Kempe and Toffoli, on that line?] It was good. I think Kempe and Toffoli, they’ve got some pretty good chemistry. They played well together. Today wasn’t a great test as the game went on. For him, he’s a skilled guy, and those are two skilled guys to play with, so it has potential to be a good line.
Desjardins, on whether the win provides a “bright outlook” for the road trip:
Well, I think what’s brighter is our young guys played well. I think that’s always a good sign. Usually if we’re going to win, it’s always the Kopitar and Brown and guys like that that carry us, or Carter. So, it’s nice to win with some young guys. That’s something that we need to see more of.
Desjardins, on whether this was one of the “better performances” he’d seen from the team:
Yeah, it was a good performance, but it was big because of the specialty teams. Like, we’ve had some other pretty good performances, five-on-five, but it helped, certainly, with the specialty teams tonight.
Desjardins, on whether the plan is to run with Jonathan Quick in net:
You just look at his record, he’s such a good goaltender. The game’s 3-1, and he made three big saves. That could’ve 3-2, and it could’ve been a tough game all the way through, but he made those three saves that were great.
Desjardins, on using the performance to erase doubt:
I think it helps when you have a game like this against a good opponent. Like, they’re a good opponent. There were stretches where they were controlling the play, so it was good for our guys to get that. You always measure yourself against tough teams.
Doughty, on whether he takes any extra joy in beating Vegas after last year’s playoffs:
Yeah, actually we talked about it before the game. These guys kicked us out of playoffs last year and it’s a new season, whatever. You never forget those types of things, I hope no one of this team ever forgot that, so that was definitely one of our things that we talked about was, ‘They kicked us out so let’s get ‘em back.’ That’s not getting ‘em back, not even close, but we won so it’s a start.
Doughty, on getting five goals on Fleury:
You can do it on any goalie in the league. It doesn’t matter what goalie it is, it’s all about just getting screens in front. You’re going to see Quickie give up five goals once in a while too. It’s just the way it is. If you do a good enough job in front of him, don’t let him see pucks, you’re going to score goals.
Doughty, on secondary scoring:
For sure, we need other guys to score. You can’t just rely on Kopi to get points and Brownie to get points and Carts. You need to get secondary scoring from everyone. You see other teams around this league, who a lot of those stars that are coming up are producing for their team and the leadership group is producing too. We need our guys to step up and do that too. They’re aware of it and I thought they did a great job tonight. Our leaders can play better still, and I think our rookies can play better still, so we still have a lot more.
Derek Forbort, on the difference in today’s game:
… We came out ready to play and we were able to keep it going through 60 minutes. It seems like in past games we’ve been giving up the first goal and it kind of deflates us a little bit. Huge goal by Scherbie to get us back in it.
Forbort, how important Scherbak’s goal was:
We’ve kind of been in that position a lot this year so for us to respond the way we did was huge.
Forbort, on getting scoring contributions from multiple lines:
Hopefully we can keep it rolling going forward. We can’t just be relying on guys like Brownie and Kopi and Carts to score goals. We’ve got to contribute any way we can.
Forbort, on Doughty’s comments on being embarrassed and disappointed after the last game:
Yeah, I think he’s one of our leaders and he speaks to the group, so I think we all kind of felt that way and it was something that needed to be said so it was a good thing we responded.
Forbort, on his goal:
It was a good play by Dewey to kind of jump thorugh and create that space and then Ty just made a good play and I just tried to get to the net and it went in.
Forbort, on a good all-around effort by the team:
It was about time we put together sixty minutes. Jesus.
Forbort, on Luff’s goal celebrations:
They’re great. He’s such a goofy kid so it’s hilarious to see what he’s going to do when he scores.
Nikita Scherbak, on his first goal and his first game as a King:
That’s probably one of those moments that is going to stick to my memory for a while probably. It’s a great win and it’s happy when we win the games and I think we deserve it. We came out, played hard and all the leaders showed up with great leadership and it was amazing. It’s fun when you come back in the room and everybody’s happy, for sure.
Scherbak, on how it felt to contribute to the team’s win:
Amazing, of course. Like I said, our leaders did a great job pushing the limit and I think all the young guys tried to keep up with them. It’s a great result for us, like I said, and it’s amazing to be a part of that.
Scherbak, on the upcoming road trip:
I’m excited. I’m looking forward. We’ve got to move on, we’ve got to forget about this win. Enjoy for a little bit and then try to move on and get as many points as possible on the road trip.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 3-1-1 all-time against Vegas, a record that includes a home mark of 2-0-1. The Kings have won three straight regular season games in the head-to-head series. Vegas is the one Pacific Division team Los Angeles plays five times, so these teams have four games remaining, three of which come within an upcoming nine-day span: December 23 and January 1 at T-Mobile Arena, and December 29 and April 6 at Staples Center.
–With the win, the Kings improved to 6-11-1 against the Western Conference, 4-5-1 against the Pacific Division, 5-10 in games decided by three or more goals, 2-16-1 when their opponent scores first, 7-7-0 when tied after the first period, 8-1-0 when leading after two periods and 8-11-1 when outshot by their opponent.
–Los Angeles scored a special teams goal and did not allow any for the sixth time this season and first time since the win over Anaheim on November 6. Four of the previous five games occurred consecutively (10/28 vs NYR, 11/1 vs PHI, 11/3 vs CBJ, 11/6 vs ANA). Over the last 15 games, dating back to the home loss to Minnesota on November 8, the Kings have gone 5-for-39 on the power play and 32-for-48 on the penalty kill.
–Drew Doughty played his 800th career game.
–Jake Muzzin (48-153=201) surpassed 200 career points with two assists in his 476th career game.
–Derek Forbort (1-1=2) scored his first goal since a 4-3 loss at Calgary on January 4.
–Playing in his 30th career game, Nikita Scherbak scored his sixth career goal. He has two goals in two career games against Vegas.
–Michael Amadio (0-2=2) recorded his first career multi-assist game and third career multi-point game.
–Los Angeles attempted 41 shots (25 on goal, 5 blocked, 11 missed). Vegas attempted 53 shots (30 on goal, 12 blocked, 11 missed). Tyler Toffoli finished with a game-high five shots on goal.
–The Kings won 26-of-52 faceoffs (50%). Adrian Kempe won 6-of-11, Michael Amadio won 0-of-4, Anze Kopitar won 9-of-18, Nate Thompson won 4-of-7 and Jeff Carter won 7-of-12.
The Kings are traveling to Detroit on Saturday. There is no Sunday practice at Toyota Sports Center.
–one Willie Desjardins quote and one Drew Doughty quote were withheld for a story to come shortly
–Lead photo via Juan Ocampo/NHLI