December 31 Rapid Reaction (feat. Nick Nickson): Kings 3, Avalanche 2 (OT) - LA Kings Insider

Rapid Reaction, feat. the radio voice of the LA Kings, Nick Nickson

Post-Game Quotes

Dustin Brown on his game-winning goal
The puck just got chipped into our zone and we had a couple of guys changing, that I was changing for, and it’s kind of the way 3-on-3 overtime goes. They were trying to get a change but I was coming out of the blueline door, so that’s probably 30, 40 feet for them to change and I just got in behind them and went low blocker.

On a number of breakaway goals for the Kings in 3-on-3 and whether that’s something they work on
You always try to catch guys off changing, that’s the most challenging thing. I mean, I’m pretty sure we had possession of the puck the whole 3-on-3, puck possession is all…you don’t want to give it up for a mediocre shot. You curl back, even go out of your zone, we even throw it to Quickie every once in a while, just to relieve pressure and keep the puck. We’ve been pretty good at it, ever since they implemented the 3-on-3. Those types of changes are hard, a lot of goals are the result of guys just trying to get off the ice.

On the team finding ways to win during their most recent stretch of games
I think, ultimately, what’s happening is we’re playing a lot better in our d-zone and that’s something we’ve been really good at for a really long time here. We weren’t very good for the first long while, the first part of the season and we haven’t up nearly as many chances, nearly as many shots and as a result, I think it helps us win games. We’ve also had contributions up and down our lineup, much more consistently the last five or six games, so that’s another part of it.

Drew Doughty on getting the win tonight, after giving up the late goal
We would’ve liked to have won it in regulation, obviously, but they got a lucky bounce on that goal, I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. [It was] a lucky bounce that went in and we stayed positive on the bench and we said “hey, let’s go win this one in OT”…actually, we wanted to win it with a few minutes left, we still had a minute left and we had some chances at the end, so we were hoping to win it there. It was a huge game for us, a big win, great game by everyone really. We could’ve played better but we played decent enough to win.

On five wins out of six and whether it’s starting to feel like what he knows the team is capable of being
You know, on that winning streak we had before we lost last game and won tonight, we felt that we were playing so much better. You’re going to win games and not play well, maybe tonight we didn’t play our best hockey, but we felt like we were playing our best hockey in that stretch. When you’re playing your best hockey, it’s just so much fun, the confidence is flowing through every player on the team and we need to get back on another winning streak, because we dropped one last game to Vegas and then won tonight and we’ve got a big match against Vegas tomorrow.

On still being able to get a win when he didn’t feel they played their best game
I thought we did some good things in the game tonight, but we didn’t do enough offensively, I think we had under 20 shots and that’s not very good, especially in an overtime game, we should have ten shots a period, or eight shots at least. It’s definitely a good feeling and our goalie’s going to steal us games every once in a while and they do. I think if you play well defensively, and your intentions are to do the right things, you’re going to get more wins than you’re not. You can kind of not be great offensively, and get a win, but if you’re not going to be great defensively, you’re going to lose the game no matter what. We seem to know how to play good defense in here, and if we keep doing that we’ll get more wins.

Willie Desjardins on the feeling when Brown scored the overtime winner
It was a good feeling. We knew we’d come in for a hard-fought game. I thought we played well early, they got some momentum in the third but it was nice to comeback and win in overtime.

On shaking off the tying goal against and coming back to win, possessing the puck for nearly the entire overtime
It was good, we won the draw, which helped and Toffoli made a good battle down low too, to keep the puck alive once we were in jeopardy of losing it. The guys played hard, it’s a tough building to win in.

On whether it’s starting to feel like the team is playing to what it’s capable of
Yeah, we feel a little bit more confidence in our game, like we feel when we’re going in that we’ve got a chance to win every night and that’s a good feeling. We’ve had lots of tough games lately, every team you play, they’re a good team. Nothing’s ever easy.

Post-Game Notes

– With the overtime victory, Los Angeles improved to 70-51-12 all-time against the Colorado franchise, a record that includes a road mark of 30-31-4. These teams have one game remaining: January 19 back here at Pepsi Center in Denver.

– With the win, Los Angeles moved to 11-12-1 against the Western Conference, 4-6-0 against the Central Division, 7-4-3 in games decided by one goal, 5-3 in overtime games, 12-3-1 when scoring first, 9-8-1 when tied after the first period, 11-1-1 when leading after the second period and 10-13-2 when outshot by their opponent.

– Forward Dustin Brown scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season with the game-winning goal.

– Kings defenseman Sean Walker scored his first career NHL goal in the victory. Walker is the third Los Angeles player, joining Matt Luff and Austin Wagner, to score their first career NHL goal this season.

– Blueliner Drew Doughty scored for the first time since November 24, ending a 17-game scoreless drought. Doughty’s goal was his third of the season overall.

– Anze Kopitar has now collected a point in eight of his last ten games played, collecting his fourth multi-assist game of the season in the process. Kopitar scored the 299th goal of his career on Saturday and is one shy of 300 for his professional career.

– Los Angeles attempted 39 shots (18 on goal, 8 blocked, 13 missed). Colorado attempted 55 shots (24 on goal, 20 blocked, 11 missed). Defenseman Drew Doughty led the Kings with four shots on goal, while the trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Carl Soderberg and Tyson Barrie each tallied four shots for Colorado.

– The Kings won 28-of-59 faceoffs (47%). Anze Kopitar won 13-of-24, Nate Thompson won 4-of-11, Adrian Kempe won 3-of-5, Jeff Carter won 8-of-19.

The Kings will travel to Vegas this evening, before a 6 PM puck drop against the Golden Knights tomorrow. The Kings are scheduled for a 10:30 AM morning skate as of now, but that is expected to be optional.

Post-Game Highlights

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.