Rapid Reaction, feat. Dan Rosen of NHL.com
Willie Desjardins, on coming from behind to win in overtime:
It’s big. I’ve said our guys have good character. They’re excited. They wanted to do well. The Islander game was a tough game for us. It was a good feeling tonight winning, but the Rangers have got a good team. They played us hard. They’re a good team. I think we got a little fortunate – Quickie was great for us, and we were able to find a way.
Desjardins, on whether he intended to start overtime with Adrian Kempe and Tyler Toffoli up front:
I could say that. I probably would’ve gone with Kopitar and Brown if they would’ve been rested. That unit’s pretty proven, but I had lots of confidence in those two guys as well, so it was easy to go with them when the other guys were tired.
Desjardins, on key late shifts by young players like Michael Amadio:
Amadio handled that puck through the middle and made a good play to dish it off [on the late game-tying goal]. We got a good dump off Kempe who put it deep and we got after it. Losing Carter really hurt us. Carts is a great player for us and he’s played well, so that hurt us. So for us to find a way without him in the lineup was pretty special.
Desjardins, on whether Jeff Carter “aggravated anything”:
No, it’s just lower-body. I honestly didn’t see the hit. There might’ve been a chance he could come back, but we didn’t want to risk anything, so we took him out. [Reporter: Is he questionable for tomorrow?] Yeah, he’d have to be questionable. If he didn’t go tonight, I would say he has to be somewhat questionable. We’ll just see how it reacts overnight. Usually with things like that you can’t tell until the next morning, so you just have to wait and see how it goes.
Desjardins, on limiting New York to three shots on goal in the third period:
Hockey’s a funny game sometimes. It wasn’t that I thought they didn’t play well in the third. I thought they played well. We had a power play, we had some chances, too. It’s good, because that’s a good team, so for us to do that, that was good for us.
Desjardins, on whether he was happy with the team game in challenging out-of-break circumstances:
Yeah, I am, and it was tough, too, for Kopitar. Like, he was under the weather. Real questionable for last game, and having him play back-to-back games, it was hard for him tonight. This was a harder game for him than last night, and you could see his energy level. For him just to battle through, it says a lot, too. He got that second one for us. There were just a lot of guys that really wanted to win, so when you’ve got that, it’s fun to be a part of.
Tyler Toffoli, on tying the game late:
… So it was good kind of do the same thing and kind of come back. We were in it the whole game and obviously Juice had a really good game and then scored that goal late and then strung me on the breakaway.
Toffoli, on the challenges faced in the first and second periods:
They played a pretty good game. They did a good job of blocking shots and we were getting shots through, we weren’t getting those second chances that go a long way. So, you know what? We’re really happy about that win and now we’ve got to move on and think about tomorrow.
Toffoli, on what has been working well with him and Kempe:
You know what, I think even obviously starting from last year when Carts went down, Juice really stepped up and obviously we had a big stretch there last year where we didn’t produce, but I thought we did some really good things last year. And obviously he’s still young and has a lot to learn in the league, but I think tonight was a big stepping stone for him and hopefully he can build off of it and help our team and win some games.
Toffoli, on the team’s reaction after Adam McQuaid’s goal:
You know what? That went in and we stuck with it and like I said we found a way to come back and I think it’s overdue with us losing games late where we normally wouldn’t do and it’s good to come back from behind and do that to another team.
Adrian Kempe, on how he got the inside position on his tying goal:
I got the puck at the blue line and we pulled our goalie and tried to chip it in and Ty came in with good speed and jumped by the d-man and called for the puck and it was a good play by the front of the net and I was wide open so it was a good play.
Kempe, on only allowing three shots on goal in the third period:
As I said it wasn’t our best first and second period, but I think we made a strong push in the third period and kept playing behind their D and put pucks in and obviously if you play a lot of time in their zone they’re not going to create a much as possible so that was a good team effort.
Kempe, on getting the first shift in overtime:
Obviously I’m glad when they put me out there. They got a good chance, hit the post, and it was a good bounce for us and a good finish for Ty so it was a good confidence boost for us.
Ilya Kovalchuk, on battling back to get a win in overtime:
We keep fighting. You know, we’re not going to give up so it’s 30 games left. You never know, especially in the West, it’s a lot of teams struggling, so we just have to push and hope for the best.
Kovalchuk, on coming back after being down 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period:
It’s feeling good. It’s always good to battle back right to the end. Juice got a few goals, it’s nice to get him going too, so, exciting win.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 51-67-19 all-time against New York, a record that includes a road mark of 22-38-7. The Kings are 7-3-1 in their last 11 regular season visits to Madison Square Garden and swept the Rangers in a season series of at least two games for the first time since 2015-16 and the fourth time ever (also 4-0-0 in 1975-76 and 3-0-0 in 1987-88).
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 7-12-2 against the Eastern Conference, 5-5-1 against the Metropolitan Division, 10-4-4 in one-goal games, 7-23-3 when their opponent scores first, 11-11-2 when tied after the first period, 1-21-1 when trailing after the second period, 6-4 in games decided after regulation and 7-10-1 when outshooting their opponent.
–The Kings won their league-leading 38th overtime since the switch to the three-on-three format in 2015-16. With a record of 38-17, their league-best .691 winning percentage checks in just ahead of Calgary (.682) and Columbus (.651). Chicago ranks second with 31 overtime wins since 2015-16, followed by Calgary’s 30.
–Los Angeles won their 700th road game in franchise history.
–Tyler Toffoli scored his fourth career overtime game-winning goal.
–Anze Kopitar has 19 points (9-10=19) in 19 career games against New York.
–Adrian Kempe registered his second career two-goal game (also: three goals vs MTL, 10/18/17).
—Per NHL PR, Mika Zibanejad (6-4—10) became the ninth player in NHL history to register a point on 10 or more consecutive team goals, and second to do so in 2018-19 (also: Blake Wheeler, WPG: 1-9—10, Nov. 1-9). There have been six longer such runs (last: Sam Gagner, EDM, 2011-12, 11 goals).
–The Kings attempted 41 shots (30 on goal, 7 blocked, 4 missed). The Rangers attempted 45 shots (27 on goal, 9 blocked, 9 missed). Ryan Strome, Mats Zuccarello and Zibanejad tied with a game-high four shots on goal, while Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, Alec Martinez and Tyler Toffoli tied with a team-high three shots.
–Los Angeles won 23-of-46 faceoffs (50%). Adrian Kempe won 2-of-7, Michael Amadio won 2-of-5, Anze Kopitar won 13-of-20, Kyle Clifford won 2-of-2, Ilya Kovalchuk won 0-of-1, Tyler Toffoli won 1-of-2 and Jeff Carter won 3-of-9.
The @LAKings tied the game in the last minute of regulation before winning just 25 seconds into overtime.
It marked the 25th time this season that a team scored a tying goal in the last minute of regulation, with the rallying team improving to 16-0-9 in those contests. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/HV81lZFRUJ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 5, 2019
–Lead photo via Bruce Bennett/Getty Images