Willie Desjardins, on what he liked most about the team’s performance:
I liked lots of things. I thought the best was probably when the goal got back on the off-side that we stayed with it and it didn’t affect us and we kept playing hard. There were lots of guys that sold out. We had some big blocked shots. Doughty blocked a couple big shots. I thought our third period was good, as well.
Desjardins, on whether Nikita Scherbak’s lack of usage was due to coach’s decision or injury:
No, it was a coach’s decision.
Desjardins, on whether Kyle Clifford will draw back into Saturday’s game at San Jose:
We’ll see. I don’t know if he’ll draw in Saturday or not, but I just want to make sure he’s good. He’s had some issues before, and I just want to make sure everything’s good with him.
Desjardins, on whether there was a reason Scherbak’s ice time was limited:
No, he’s a young guy, and sometimes young guys, maybe they don’t have the best game. I think he’s a talented player, but I think guys are responsible, they have to play at a certain level too to get to play. I didn’t think he was at that level tonight. He’s played well in other games, but tonight I didn’t think he was there.
Desjardins, on the importance of generating this response after a “frustrating” road trip:
Our road trip, we didn’t get the points, but our chances in all those games were pretty good. The Buffalo game we lost a couple D and got in trouble. The Detroit game we played well. The Pittsburgh game we out-chanced them. Three out of those gour games we were pretty good, but we weren’t good in the Co[lumbus game. Our team’s been playing better lately, but this was a nice win to come back. We haven’t played well at home, so it was good to come back and play well at home.
Desjardins, on how to build off the win:
I think the guys know if we play our game we can play well against anybody. We’ve got some tough games coming up, so we’re going to have to be ready if we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win.
Desjardins, on Austin Wagner not getting a lot of third period ice time:
I thought that line was good, but when I went down to three lines, Thompson’s another faceoff guy, so it gives me two faceoff guys on that line. Maybe right now he might be a little bit defensively than Wagner. He’s got a lot more experience in the league. But I thought Luff and Wagner, they’ve been good. All year they’ve played well for us.
Doughty, on if he ever considered playing goaltender when he was growing up:
Yeah, I know. To be honest I always wanted to be a goalie. When I was a kid playing Triple A, I wanted to switch back and play goalie and my parents obviously weren’t too keen on the price of pads, so that didn’t happen, so I went to my next resort and played in net in soccer.
Doughty, on what he liked most from the team tonight:
Just I think everyone played well. I think every single player in our lineup made a difference out there tonight, you know our fourth line stepped up and had some big goals for us. I thought just everyone played well and we competed. We played a good defensive game too, which we’ve been lacking. As much as we want to create more offense or talk about this and that, we’ve got to keep pucks out of our net and we haven’t been doing that lately. We can’t rely on our goalies to do that every single night, so tonight was a good team effort on both ends of the puck and that’s why we won.
Doughty, on whether tonight’s win is a boost to the team’s confidence:
In order to get that confidence, we got to work hard and compete out there, and get things to start coming to you. I felt like we finally did that tonight and that’s why we got the two points. But, you know, we can’t get ahead ourselves. That’s one win in the last however many, so we need to get on a roll here. But it was a good start tonight.
Doughty, on what they did to shut down Winnipeg’s top two lines:
Just try to out-work ‘em and out-compete ‘em. We know what they’re all about, played them many times before, and a few of those guys are stars in this league, so we just have to play them as hard as we possibly can. Not give them any space, try to frustrate ‘em and not give them much on the power play. I thought the PK was good, but the main part was staying out of the box. I think we only had two or three kills, so that’s really good.
Doughty, on tonight’s game being a strong response to the most recent road trip:
It’s huge. It’s our first home game we’ve had in a little while here and I think we go back on the road, so it was a big match for us. Yeah that road trip for us was frustrating. There was a few games we thought we could’ve won and we didn’t come away with them and tonight I don’t think there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind that we should’ve won that hockey game and we played a full 60 minutes and that’s really good Kings’ hockey right there. And we need to do it again. And again.
Austin Wagner, on using his speed to score on the breakaway:
Luffer gave me a great pass and I just put my head down and skated hard and tried to separate myself and create some space and I was fortunate enough to put the puck in the net there.
Wagner, on what the team has done to start scoring more goals:
I think we’ve been good in our D-zone. We’re breaking pucks out and we’re getting lot of chances by doing that so when we’re breaking out clean and we’re not turning over pucks we’re creating a lot of offense so we’re playing well right now and we’ve just got to keep it going. It’s just one win, but the next task at hand is San Jose on Saturday and then Vegas on Sunday so we’ve just got to keep marching along and keep pushing.
Wagner, on having played with Luff in Ontario and whether that chemistry carries over:
It helps to play with them down there last year a little bit, but you know, we know where each other going to be so the line’s working right now and I think we’ve just got to keep playing hard and playing our way not to change a thing and just keep going for Saturday here.
Wagner, on Luff:
I think he’s assisted on every one of my goals this year, so that says something, but he’s playing well and Mods is playing great. The team played awesome tonight. You look at that game and we found a way to win, which is the biggest thing. That’s a real good hockey club over there, like I said, in Winnipeg and it’s a great feeling.
Matt Luff, on how they can keep the momentum from tonight’s win going forward:
I thought this overall game was huge for us. I think you’ve just go to — the room was great before the game, the atmosphere was good and we came off the plan, I think we executed perfectly, so coming into San Jose we’ve got to have the same game plan and carry the pace for the whole game and shut down their top guys and when we’re playing LA Kings style hockey we’re a tough team to play against I think.
Luff, on what he saw on his pass that led to Wagner’s breakaway goal:
I think anytime Wags is tied with a guy or a little bit ahead, not to worry about catching up with him because I know he’s going to be gone so it was good play by him to get it going and I think it was a good result. The puck flipped up there and I was like, ‘Uh oh,’ but he did a good job and I’m happy for him. It’s a big two goals for us and it helped us with a huge win today.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 16-7-8 all-time against the Winnipeg franchise, a record that includes a 10-1-4 home mark. The Kings’ one regulation home loss to the Jets or Thrashers was a 2-1 home loss on November 22, 2017. Each team is 1-1-0 in the season series with one game remaining on March 18 at Staples Center.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 7-11-1 against the Western Conference, 3-6-0 against the Central Division, 6-11 in three-goal games, 10-3-1 when scoring first, 4-0-0 when leading after the first period, 9-1-1 when leading after two periods and 4-8-1 when outshooting their opponent.
–Austin Wagner (2-0=2) recorded his first NHL multi-goal game. The last time he recorded a multi-goal game at any level, he did so in back-to-back outings on April 15 and 17, 2017 in Game 6 and 7 wins during Regina’s second round series win over Swift Current in the WHL Playoffs.
–With a second period goal, Alex Iafallo (2-4=6) extended his point streak to a career-long five games. This is the longest streak by a King this season.
–Daniel Brickley assisted on Wagner’s first period goal, marking his second assist in three career NHL games.
–Drew Doughty finished with a game-high four blocked shots.
–The Kings attempted 52 shots (31 on goal, 8 blocked, 13 missed). The Jets attempted 57 shots (28 on goal, 18 blocked, 11 missed). Tyler Toffoli led all skaters with six shots on goal.
–Los Angeles won 26-of-50 faceoffs (52%). Adrian Kempe won 3-of-8, Michael Amadio won 2-of-5, Anze Kopitar won 16-of-23, Nate Thompson won 2-of-5 and Jeff Carter won 3-of-9.
The Kings are scheduled to practice at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
–Audio supplied by LAKI Associate Jessi McDonald
–Lead photo via Harry How/Getty Images