Rapid Reaction, feat. Daryl Evans
Willie Desjardins, on how the game got away in the second period:
Well, it was 1-1. We had a power play, our chance to maybe get in front. They got a break coming out of the box to make it 2-1, and we were still there. And then they got the 5-on-3, and they got two off that, so that changed it right there.
Desjardins, on whether the trade deadline is affecting the group:
I’m sure it is. There’s lots of thoughts when you’re thinking about it all the time – it takes energy on you. So, that part’s hard. But, I think that you look at the game, we just let it get away from us at the end of the second and they got two right at the start of the third, too. That’s frustrating. For sure it’s hard for the guys, but we’ve got to find a way to be better.
Desjardins, on whether he’s been seeing what he wants to see from the leadership group:
They’ve been good, They’ve been really good. It’s a good group. You have to look at a big picture. They’ve played lots of good hockey. They have. We haven’t won. But we’ve played against some good teams and we’ve played hard, and we’ve been right in every game. This is the first one we haven’t been in. And that’s a sign of the leadership group. When you lose some guys out of there – they know that, and it’s hard – but that whole group is good. Quickie’s been great, Kopi’s great, Brownie’s been good, Doughty’s good. There’s a good group of guys in there that care. They’ll come out and show and play hard every night.
Anze Kopitar, on whether the trade deadline is affecting the club right now:
Yeah, I’m sure it’s on everybody’s mind, but at the end of the day showing up to the game there’s nothing more important than that. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the deadline or whatever the case may be. We can’t show an effort like we did today. It’s embarrassing and we can’t, we just can’t keep playing like that.
Kopitar, on the Panthers capitalizing on the game’s momentum change:
It got away on us in the second period. We had some chances to go ahead by a couple and then, you know, the second goal — I’ll take full responsibility for that. I mean, shoot the puck and it goes around the net and it hit the net there and the puck goes around the wall right to the guy and he’s got a breakaway right to the net and he scores. But it’s really a momentum changer, but once we took a few penalties then too, and they scored two power play goals and that was it.
Drew Doughty, on what is most concerning about the recent string of losses:
… with everything on the table offensively and we get four shots on net and they score two or three goals. So the fact that we’re not playing for pride and we’re not working for each other that’s the scary part about what’s going on right now.
Doughty, on how long he thinks the team has been playing without pride:
The whole season to be honest. It’s about getting up. Guys show up some nights. Other guys show up other nights. We’ve got to show up together and that’s the bottom line. We are going to accomplish things together not individually. And yeah, no one’s going to get mad at each other or anything like that. You play hard and you compete with pride and you do everything you possibly can to win. If you make mistakes we can live with that. That’s fine. Everyone makes mistakes. The best players in the league make mistakes, but if you’re not competing and you’re not playing with pride and you’re not standing up for your teammates and you’re not listening to what the coaches want us to do, then that’s when the problem happens. And not that the guys don’t want to do the right things, we all do, but we’ve got to show it sometimes.
Doughty, on whether the trade deadline is affecting the team right now:
I wouldn’t doubt it, that’s got to be, right? I’m assuming I’m not on the trade block, but it’s got to be tough for those guys. I don’t know what it’s like to go through that, so I can’t really comment too much on that. It’s got to be really hard trying to play you’re best for a team knowing you might get traded, but if you look at it the way that you’re playing for your teammates and the guy beside you, then that should be in the back of your mind.
Doughty, on how veteran players ensure that losing doesn’t affect rookies in their development:
I don’t know what we have to do anymore because we’ve tried everything. We’re trying to do everything and it’s not on the young guys, it’s on every single guy on our team. It’s on me, it’s on Kopi, it’s on Brownie, it’s on Quickie. It’s on all of us and that’s the bottom line. It’s our job to teach the rookies how to do it and that’s going to make them grow. I had great veterans when I was a young guy and they taught me the ropes and I’ve grown into the player I am today because of it. It’s our job to mold these young guys into the players we want them to be in the future and we haven’t done a good enough job as leaders.
Trevor Lewis, on trade rumors:
… You can only control what you can control, so I’m sure it’s in some guys’ minds, but there’s nothing you can do about it.
Lewis, on whether he can pinpoint what went wrong in today’s game:
It’s they had a lot of power plays there and they’ve got a good power play and we gave up a couple there and then we just kind of went to [—-]. Like I was saying earlier, we’ve got to play with more passion and pride than that in the third and come out better than that for sure.
Lewis, on the penalty killing struggles:
It’s tough. I mean, a couple of those goals, obviously the five-on-three is a five-on-three. They’re going to get chances there. A couple of seams, and we’ve just got to play more desperate and get in lanes and take away those shots that the goalies can’t even see. I think it comes down to playing with more passion and pride, and we’ve just got to get back to that, for sure.
Lewis, on whether the lack of defensive success is due to personnel or something else:
No, I mean we’ve got the same leadership, almost the same guys. It’s tough, you know? When we do check and force other teams, we have a good chance to win every night. I think tonight we just kind of let up there and it went away from us real quick.
–With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 20-12-3 all-time against Florida, a record that includes a road mark of 7-7-3. These teams have one game remaining, March 16 at Staples Center.
–With the loss, the Kings fell to 9-16-3 against the Eastern Conference, 2-9-2 against the Atlantic Division, 9-16 in games decided by three or more goals, 7-28-5 when allowing the first goal, 11-13-4 when tied after one period, 1-26-1 when trailing after two periods and 14-18-4 when outshot by their opponent.
–Florida scored six goals in a game against Los Angeles for the first time since the teams’ first meeting in Southern California, a 6-5 Panthers win at The Forum on December 8, 1993.
–The Kings lost by at least four goals for the eighth time this season and yielded at least six goals for the seventh time this season.
–Appearing in 22:45 of a 6-1 loss, Oscar Fantenberg recorded a plus-one rating, four shots on goal, six hits and one blocked shot.
–With his first period goal, Dustin Brown (273 career goals) moved within two goals of Butch Goring (275) for sixth place on the Kings’ all-time goals list. The goal was his first five-on-five goal he scored since December 27 against Arizona. He also had a three-on-three overtime goal at Colorado on December 31 and a five-on-four goal at Dallas on December 17.
–Los Angeles attempted 42 shots (19 on goal, 16 blocked, 7 missed). Florida attempted 49 shots (25 on goal, 12 blocked, 12 missed). Jonathan Huberdeau registered a game-high five shots on goal, while Fantenberg and Brown finished with a team-high four shots.
–The Kings won 18-of-48 faceoffs (38%). Adrian Kempe won 2-of-8, Michael Amadio won 0-of-7, Anze Kopitar won 10-of-20, Kyle Clifford won 0-of-1, Trevor Lewis won 0-of-1 and Jeff Carter won 6-of-11.
–Lead photo via Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI