Rapid Reaction, feat. Dan Greenspan of NHL.com
Willie Desjardins, on the team’s character in the comeback win:
I thought all night it was kind of like we were battling. They had a lot of transition in the game, kind of had us on our heels. I think that’s your leadership in your room where it doesn’t matter where things are going, you’re always looking at the next shift, you’re always looking at finding a way, and it was good. We got a couple goals from young guys tonight, which was huge. It’s nice to see the young players coming in and contributing, and then it was great – we had the overtime power play last game and didn’t capitalize. We made a few adjustments and it was great to get one tonight.
Desjardins, on the excitement Austin Wagner brings with his speed:
It’s exciting. The speed’s such a big part of the game, and every once in a while he just takes off and he makes something out of nothing. There wasn’t that there wasn’t anything there, he just made it there because of his speed, and he just about had another one later, too, where he did the same thing. It’s great – I think all the guys wish that they had those wheels that makes it easier, but he’s worked at his game, too. He’s come a long ways from the start of the year. The start of the year he looked like he’d be playing in the American league, and when he got his chance up here he’s played well.
Desjardins, on Jack Campbell:
He’s been good for us. He’s come into a lot of tough games. That Calgary game was a tough game, he came in and he played well there. And it’s not just the saves. He handles the puck well – he can get us out of trouble that way, too. All year maybe one, two games maybe he’s just been OK. He’s been outstanding for us. If you look at his numbers, they’re outstanding. It was good that he came in and got a win.
Drew Doughty, on battling back twice to force the game into overtime:
I think we just all played together. Obviously Soup kept us in it with some big saves. He played well all game and only allowed them to get two goals and that was a big part of it, but we just played together and didn’t give up. Our fourth line got us two big goals too, and you can’t overwrite that. That was huge by them. They don’t get a lot of minutes and to get two big goals was key.
Doughty, on seeing young players make a difference in games:
We needed young guys to contribute. Not that they haven’t this year, they have, but the more they contribute the better we’re going to be. They’re getting a lot of playing time now, they’re getting more experience, and they’re just going to be better for us next year. If they continue to work on their game, they’re going to be big, big parts of our team next year.
Doughty, on his game-winning goal in overtime:
We had a 4-on-3 in overtime in Van the other night and we weren’t able to generate much — I don’t even know if we got a shot on net — so we focused on it today. We watched video on it before the game. We just said, ‘Get to our spots, get pucks to the net,’ so the first opportunity I had to get a puck to the net I just let it rip and luckily it went in.
Jack Campbell, on coming back to win the game in overtime:
I mean regardless of where the season is like you said, it is frustrating this season, but anytime you win it feels great, so that’s a really good team, they’re fighting for their life over there with Chicago. We knew that they’d come out and play really hard and I thought that they played great and I’m fortunate that the boys played really, really well in front of me and it feels good to win in overtime for sure.
Campbell, on how exciting it is to see Wagner using his speed to score:
He does it all the time and I think when he does it’s just a huge boost for the group, just to help out the top scorers on our team. To get that, I don’t even want to say secondary scoring because those guys have been playing so well all season and that goal tonight was huge. I think it changed the game for us and just gave us a ton of life and that’s a great individual effort for sure.
Campbell, on seeing Wagner in practice:
He’s fast, so it’s fun to be on his side, to be on his team. I think he works really hard on his game and we have a lot of great coaches here that have helped him. You’ve got to tip your hat to Wags because he’s out there ready to learn every day and I think you’re seeing that he’s becoming an all around really solid player and it’s pretty scary if he keeps developing what he can do in this league, so definitely happy to have him on our side.
— With the win, Los Angeles improved to 87-89-22 all-time against Chicago, a record that includes a home mark of 46-41-11. The Kings are 9-2-0 in their last 11 games against the Blackhawks after sweeping the season series, winning in a shootout at United Center and in regulation and in overtime in the two games at Staples Center. The sweep was the fifth Los Angeles series sweep since the Kings entered the league in 1967 and first since back-to-back four-game sweeps in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
— With the win, Los Angeles improved to 20-21-5 against the Western Conference, 8-11-2 against the Central Division, 14-8-9 in one-goal games, 9-35-6 when their opponent scores first, 14-15-4 when tied after one period, 8-5-3 when tied after two periods, 17-23-6 when outshot by their opponent and finished March with a 6-7-1 record.
— The Kings improved to 17-8-3 against teams they’ve faced in the playoffs since returning to the postseason in 2010 after an eight-year hiatus. They are 12-32-6 against everyone else.
— Anze Kopitar played his 999th career game.
— Patrick Kane played his 899th career game.
— Drew Doughty’s goal was the first four-on-three goal scored by Los Angeles this season. They’ve allowed three four-on-three goals.
— By scoring the game-winning goal, Doughty tied Alex Frolov and Charlie Simmer (25 GWG) for 10th place on the franchise’s all-time game-winning goals list.
— Michael Amadio extended his point streak to three games (1-2=3). He has five points (3-2=5) in the last six games he has played.
— By scoring for the second consecutive game, Austin Wagner recorded his 20th point of the season (12-8=20) in his 58-game rookie season.
— Jeff Carter recorded his 20th assist by assisting on Wagner’s goal, marking the 10th time in his career he reached 20 assists.
— By assisting on Amadio’s goal, Kyle Clifford recorded his eighth assist and extended his career high with his 17th point of the season.
— Los Angeles attempted 48 shots (29 on goal, 10 blocked, 9 missed). Chicago attempted 67 shots (35 on goal, 12 blocked, 20 missed). Patrick Kane led all skaters with eight shots on goal, while Kyle Clifford finished with a team-high four shots.
— The Kings won 32-of-59 faceoffs (54%). Adrian Kempe won 3-of-7, Michael Amadio won 2-of-3, Anze Kopitar won 15-of-26, Austin Wagner won 0-of-1 and Jeff Carter won 12-of-22.
The Kings are scheduled to practice at 11:00 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center on Sunday, March 31.
–Lead photo via Adam Pantozzi/NHLI