December 13 Rapid Reaction (feat. Curtis Zupke): Blue Jackets 4, Kings 1 - LA Kings Insider

Rapid Reaction, feat. Curtis Zupke of the LA Times

Post-game Quotes

Willie Desjardins, on what he tries to do to change things up after four unanswered goals:
Well, I think they were creating way too much. Quickie was great in net, made a number or great saves for us and gave us a chance to stay in it and we didn’t do it. For whatever reason tonight, they were quick on us there, they were hard to handle in the corners and we couldn’t handle it in our d-zone and we just have to find a way to be better at that.

Desjardins, on the looks Toffoli has been getting, but not capitalizing on:
He’s played pretty good for us. He’s battled pretty hard. I don’t have a problem with the way Tyler’s playing. He will score. He’s a goal-scorer, things will go in for him. It would be nice if things went in for him sooner rather than later, but he’s battled and played hard and I can accept how he’s playing for sure.

Desjardins, on whether the high number of shots the last two games is a result of needing to do more or of having players out of the lineup:
We can do things that are different to prevent that for sure. Like I said, we weren’t good enough in our own zone tonight like we were turning pucks over. We just didn’t do a good enough job and I thought Kopitar and Brown played good — I thought some of our big guys played pretty good tonight — it was our other cast that just didn’t match their intensity. It showed we had some young guys tonight and we just weren’t at their level tonight at certain times.

Desjardins, on Paul LaDue being on the ice for three of Columbus’ four goals and whether that hurts his confidence:
Well it’s always tough when you’re on for goals. Those goals weren’t his fault, like there were other guys that made mistakes on those plays that ended up with him, but it’s tough for him. A young guy, you’ve got to be able to bounce back from that. You know, it’s the NHL and you’re expected to do a good job when you’re playing.

Anze Kopitar, on how much of the game came down to special teams:
I think each and every night special teams are a big part and last three games we’ve been coming in on the wrong side of them and it shows in the score. You know, Buffalo gets a 3-2 goal on the power play and the game-winner, so that’s huge, and we had some chances, but we couldn’t convert and that ultimately cost us the game. I think tonight we have a 2-1 game with some chances and you give up that power play goal and it just brings it down a notch or enough where they can just make it a three goal game where it’s very hard obviously to come back from that. It’s the way it goes.

Kopitar, on the struggle of hitting posts and not scoring and then getting scored on twice in a 20 second span:
I think it was 1-1 when Alex hit the post I think, and even Ty on the power play, he hit a post. But those are just excuses. I mean, at the end of the day we have to score goals and it doesn’t matter whether they go off our shin pads or whether it’s a nice play or it’s a great shot or whatnot. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to get it done.

Kopitar, on the emotional toll of losing to Buffalo and then coming into tonight’s matchup:
I mean, listen, coming in here it’s a tough building to play in. They’re homers. They play very, very hard at home. Obviously very physical and the game is definitely not easy and with the turnaround from Buffalo, it’s an unexplained thirty minutes and in high twenties, and it’s tough. But those are all just excuse that we can use, but we all know that that’s not what we’re about so we come in here and we kept it close for a little bit, and like I said, the special teams kind of gave it up for us.

Jeff Carter, on the game getting away from them:
It was 2-1 game, but we didn’t bring it. We have to be a lot better if we want to win games in this league and that’s the bottom line. We need to have more from everybody, myself included. Players like myself. I need to get back to doing what I’m doing. It’s all around, top to bottom.

Carter, on special teams:
I feel like it’s been a common theme this year. Their third goal, Muzz makes a big block, Paulie makes a block, goes right to him, those ones are going to happen. Guys are putting their body in front of pucks and goes right under his stick, but like I said, we’ve lost special teams battle way too much this year and it’s a huge, huge part of where we are. A lot of it falls on us, the leaders of the team.

Post-game Notes

–With the overtime loss, Los Angeles dropped to 34-20-5 all-time against Columbus, a record that includes a road mark of 14-11-4. The Kings are now 8-2-1 in their last ten games against Columbus overall and tonight marked the third time in their last 11 games that they have not earned a point in Ohio.

–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 5-9-1 against the Eastern Conference, 3-4-0 against the Metropolitan Division, 5-11-0 in three-goal games, 9-3-1 when scoring the first goal, 1-13-1 when trailing after the first period, 0-16-0 when trailing after two periods and 8-12-2 when outshot by their opponent.

–Tonight’s game marked game 3 (0-2-1) of a four-game road trip, tied for the Kings’ second longest road trip of the season. In their first four-game road trip (Oct. 9 – Oct. 15), the Kings went 1-3-0.

–Alex Iafallo collected an assist for the third straight game, tying a season long scoring streak. The second-year forward has now collected a point in three straight games three times this season.

–Forward Dustin Brown scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season, snapping a seven-game goal-less drought.

–Drew Doughty played his 361st consecutive game, extending his all-time franchise record for consecutive games played. Doughty did not miss a game following leaving Tuesday’s game in Buffalo with an injury.

–Los Angeles attempted 60 shots (30 on goal, 15 blocked, 15 missed). Columbus attempted 59 shots (41 on goal, 11 blocked, 7 missed). Columbus forwards Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson led all skaters with six shots apiece, while forward Dustin Brown led the Kings with five.

–The Kings won 27-of-62 faceoffs (43.5%). Adrian Kempe won 8-of-18, Michael Amadio won 2-of-6, Anze Kopitar won 5-of-15, Nate Thompson won 4-of-5, Jeff Carter won 8-of-16 and Dustin Brown won 0-of-2.

The Kings are traveling to Pittsburgh this evening after the game. The team is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. skate tomorrow afternoon in Pennsylvania.

Post-game Highlights

–Lead photo via Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire