Rapid Reaction feat. J.P. Hoornstra of Southern California News Group
Willie Desjardins, on the turning point in the game after a good start:
Yeah, we had a decent start. I thought that we got the one, and then we sat back a little bit. We didn’t generate much in the second. They got that power play one, got it going, and then they got one right after. And then they got a break right at the start of the third. We had some chances, but they wouldn’t go in after that.
Desjardins, on the ebbs and flows in energy this season:
We have had some good games, and tonight wasn’t one of them. I think Ottawa played a good style. We knew they’d try to frustrate us, and they did. We quit getting pucks behind their D, and we just didn’t generate anything and we let them start taking the game over. Once we got going, it was too late. Things weren’t going for us and we just couldn’t turn it around. Our energy was OK at the start. We just have to be better. We just have to be better than that.
Desjardins, on what was said in the dressing room between the second and third periods:
We know that we had a bad second period. We knew we weren’t good enough, so we had to move on. We had to come back with more energy in the third. I thought we did have more energy in the third. I thought we’d come out, but they got that early one on us, and then we just didn’t get anything. But the comments were ‘we have to be better in the third – that’s not good enough.’ I thought our play was better in the third.
Desjardins, on whether he senses dips in focus prior to games where emotional investment is low:
You worry sometimes. I was a little bit worried going into San Jose, but I thought we had a great effort in San Jose. Coming in here, they played last night, so you think we might have an advantage, so maybe the guys relaxed a little bit, and that’s usually one problem that we have sometimes is for whatever reason, we relax, we think it’s going to happen. We just didn’t get enough out of everybody. We just didn’t get enough out of all the lines, and to say ‘you see it,’ if you see it coming, then you’d change something so it wouldn’t come. It was one of those where if we score on that power play, we probably win the game. We were up 1-0. If we go up 2-0, we probably have a pretty good chance in that game.
Desjardins, on whether he laments any one missed scoring chance in particular:
No, I do think if we scored on that power play, it would’ve changed it a bit. Kopi had a couple chances in the third that didn’t go, but that would’ve just made it 3-2, so that wasn’t going to be enough, anyways.
Jake Muzzin, on what made it difficult to score:
I think we kind of let up after we scored our first goal and let them into the game and then you know they got two and we just couldn’t get back into it. It was disappointing. Frustrating. We can’t let teams off the hook and we let them back into the game and they took advantage of it.
Muzzin, on any positive takeaways from the game:
Well, the start of the game was a positive I think. We went out, you know, we didn’t score on the power play, but we got some momentum. We had some shots. That helps with getting shots on net. We had a few power plays which we haven’t had in a while. So I thought once we got into their zone we did do some good little things. Some low to high plays and pucks to the net and traffic and rebounds and stuff like that, but we have to do that for 60 minutes and we got away from that later in the second period and they capitalized on chances and then we couldn’t get back in.
Muzzin, on managing the team’s energy throughout the course of a game:
It starts from in here in the dressing room. You know, we need guys with more emotion, more energy, more passion in the game and it was kind of dead in here and our play showed.
Kyle Clifford, on tonight’s loss:
It’s awful. It’s just embarrassing, to be honest. Not much more to say than that.
Clifford, on if the first two goals allowed were uncharacteristic for the Kings:
Yeah, for a team that prides their self in playing defense, we didn’t do a very good job tonight.
Clifford, on if there was anything in particular that flipped the game around after a good first period:
Lack of emotion. Lack of, you know, just everybody on the bench is to blame. Everybody that’s on the bench is to blame tonight.
–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 22-13-2 all-time against Ottawa, a record that includes a home mark of 14-4-1. Three of the four home regulation losses have occurred since the 2014-15 season. The Senators swept a two-game season series for the second time since entering the league in 1992-93 (also 2015-16).
–With the loss, the Kings fell to 5-11-2 against the Eastern Conference, 2-7-1 against the Atlantic Division, 7-14 in games decided by three or more goals, 13-4-1 when scoring first, 9-10-1 when tied after the first period, 0-20-1 when trailing after the second period and 7-8-1 when outshooting their opponent.
–This is the 12th season the Kings have had 37 or fewer points through 45 games. Those seasons include 1969-70 (9-31-5), 1970-71 (14-23-8), 1971-72 (11-31-3), 1981-82 (13-26-6), 1982-83 (15-23-7),1983-84 (14-22-9), 1985-86 (15-24-6), 1987-88 (14-26-5), 1994-95 (14-22-9), 1998-99 (16-25-4) and 2007-08 (16-27-2).
–Kyle Clifford (1-0=1), who has missed 11 games, tied his career-high, set in his 2010-11 rookie season and matched in 2012-13, with his seventh goal. His seven goals are tied for fifth on the team with Ilya Kovalchuk, Tyler Toffoli and Matt Luff.
–In his first game back from injury, Alec Martinez recorded three shots on goal, five total shot attempts, four blocked shots and a minus-one rating in 20:34 of ice time, 19:19 of which came at even strength and 1:15 while shorthanded.
–Los Angeles attempted 64 shots (34 on goal, 17 blocked, 13 missed). Ottawa attempted 47 shots (27 on goal, 8 blocked, 12 missed). Jake Muzzin led all skaters with six shots on goal and nine total shot attempts.
–The Kings won 35-of-66 faceoffs (53%). Adrian Kempe won 7-of-15, Anze Kopitar won 16-of-24, Ilya Kovalchuk won 0-of-1, Alex Iafallo won 1-of-2, Nate Thompson won 5-of-9, Carl Hagelin won 0-of-1 and Jeff Carter won 6-of-14.
The Kings are scheduled to practice at 11:00 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center on Friday, January 11.
–Lead photo via Harry How/Getty Images