Todd McLellan, on the win setting a franchise record for home wins in November:
Well, the record, obviously I wasn’t aware of. I haven’t been here very long. We have played well at home this month. We’ve played a lot of games at home this month. We needed to take advantage of it, and I think we did. As far as the game tonight, tremendous start. One of our better starts that we’ve had all season. This game kind of matched what we did in Winnipeg a month and a half ago, and then after that, they go down to three lines and pushed and really dominated in the circle. I thought they owned the puck there a lot and had it. It caused us to play on our heels a little bit. Went to the penalty box three times, so a lot of the things we needed to avoid we didn’t, and we weren’t as aggressive as we were in the first. But with that being said, we found our way to check our way through the second and third. It wasn’t pretty, but check our way to a win and we’ll take it.
McLellan, on improving play away from Staples Center:
Well, we don’t need to change our game, and I think that’s the biggest thing we need to understand. We’ll have a chat about it here – not tomorrow, obviously, a day off – but perhaps on Monday we’ll talk about the road play and the resilience we need there and the energy we need to bring to the rink. The structure is in place. When we play it we have a chance. We give ourselves an opportunity, but we have to be better prepared to start games on the road and better prepared to dig in a little earlier, a little longer and find ways to come out of it. We haven’t been on the road very much, so I’m looking forward to it. I think it’ll be a great evaluating tool for management, for the coaching staff and for the players. Personal evaluation and team evaluation – where do I fit now in the league? We’re a third done, and it’s time to reflect a little bit.
McLellan, on the string of penalty killing success:
We’ve changed our pairs up a little bit in the last three weeks – different rotation, different pairs. Made a few small adjustments, tried to clarify some things. Going to the boss less than we did before and getting a few really good saves from both Soupy and Quickie, and that makes a huge difference when it comes down to numbers.
McLellan, on Adrian Kempe’s penalty killing play, and the importance of playing aggressively:
Absolutely, and his legs and his pace, his reach, anticipation skills all go into lending his attributes to becoming a good penalty killer. Earlier in the year when he was struggling overall, you didn’t feel good about putting him there. But now his game has really come around, and we feel really confident playing him in both penalty kill and power play situations, as well as five-on-five. He’s been one of our most improved players over the last three weeks.
McLellan, on Nikolai Prokhorkin scoring a goal:
He’s a talented player. We needed to get Lewie up and running again, we called Luffer up to give him a chance to play again. There’s a bit of a rotation that’s happening there, but he stayed ready, he took advantage of his opportunity, and when some of our other centers were getting drilled early in the circle, he was actually winning a fair number of draws, so that was a real positive as well.
McLellan, on the third period coming down to a prime Mark Scheifele chance:
Well, that play came after the trip, and reviewing it, there’s no way we could’ve protested it by any means, but they obviously missed that call and it was disappointing. They checked well. We knew they were coming. They had nothing to lose. They were going to pinch, they were going to throw everything they had at us, they went down to three lines. We tried to stick with four as much as we could to conserve a little bit of energy, and I thought everybody found a way to leave a mark on the game in the third.
McLellan, on Joakim Ryan’s first goal as a King:
Happy for him. He’s had some good looks. He’s got a really good shot. Found the net on that one. The guys were really happy for him, too, because he’s given us some real honest minutes. A little tough start to the year. Perhaps we didn’t know him as well as we needed to know him, and that cost him a little bit. But he’s gone in and he’s played really well for us, and that pair’s been pretty solid as of late.
Jack Campbell, on the team’s first period:
It’s huge. We talk about good starts in here and how important it is, and when the boys battle like that and start like that, you just want to do your job because it’s fun to watch ‘em. They really had everything going. They’re a good team, so they were resilient. They pushed back, but we knew they would, and our guys responded great and we were able to get a big two points.
Campbell, on what helped him during Winnipeg’s second period push:
I mean, we talk about being a better team in front of the net all the time, and whether it was a rebound or a loose puck, the battle tonight was incredible. They could’ve had easily a couple more goals just because we were able to lift their sticks or get to loose pucks first. I owe the boys a dinner, for sure.
Campbell, on his save on Mark Scheifele:
Whoo. It was fun. It was just kind of like the game. It was just a big battle, and it was a lot of fun. I thought our guys did a great job that final minute. They’re a good possession team. If they start moving it around, they can make plays, and we did everything we could. It just bounced over Dewey’s stick. It was a really good effort by him, and it was kind of unfortunate it bounced to Scheifele, but they battled all night and I just had to kind of make that one save for them. [Reporter: Have you ever made a buzzer-beating save like that in your career?] I don’t know. I’m not sure. It was fun. [Reporter: Did you have enough time to process that there was a second left in the game?] Yeah, I knew, because on the wall, I looked up to see when the puck was on the glove-side wall. We were eating it, and I kind of looked really quickly just in case of a whistle or if I have to shoot it out or whatever. So I saw there were six seconds, and then by the time it squirted over to Scheif, I was like, ‘OK, I don’t think he has time to make a backdoor play,’ so I tried to just be patient. I know he’s a skilled guy, but it was just fortunate to make the save. [Reporter: You live for those moments, obviously.] It was the final minute, and I’m just happy we won. That’s the biggest thing.
Campbell, on Winnipeg not getting much going early in the game:
We played really well. Stuck to the game plan, had a great start, and if we do that, we’ll all be successful.
Campbell, on the team’s play at home over the last month:
I just think with any changes it’s going to take a little bit of time. We accept that, buy that, but we always expect to win and to be the best. I just think things are clicking a little better right now, and we’ve been working really hard and I know we can get even better.
— With the win, Los Angeles improved to 18-8-8 all-time against the Winnipeg franchise, a record that includes a home mark of 11-2-4. With a record of 2-0-0 thus far, the Kings have guaranteed themselves a win in the three-game season series for the first time since 2016-17, when they went 2-0-1. They are 7-2-2 in their last 11 home games against the Jets. These teams have one game remaining: February 18 at Bell MTS Centre.
— With the win, Los Angeles improved to 9-10-1 against the Western Conference, 5-3-0 against the Central Division, 6-3-2 in one-goal games, 9-3-1 when scoring first, 8-1-0 when leading after one period, 7-0-0 when leading after two periods and 1-1-0 when shots are even.
— The Kings finished November with a 7-5-2 record. All seven wins came at home, marking the most home wins the team has recorded in November. They are 7-1-1 in their last nine home games.
— Los Angeles improved to 25-11 in their silver jerseys, whether the silver/gold jerseys worn in 2016-17, or the reintroduction of the alternate in 2017-18. The 36 games represent all Saturday night home games over that span, plus the road games at San Jose and Vegas last December 22 and 23.
— The Kings outshot the Jets 40-11 in their two first periods this season and out-attempted them 69-22.
— Joakim Ryan (1-0=1) scored his first goal as a King and first goal since February 25, 2018 at Minnesota while with San Jose.
— Nikolai Prokhorkin (1-0=1) scored his first career game-winning goal. He has three points (2-1=3) in the last four games he’s played.
— Paul LaDue (0-1=1) registered his first point of the season in his first game.
— Los Angeles attempted 64 shots (34 on goal, 16 blocked, 14 missed). Winnipeg attempted 62 shots (34 on goal, 11 blocked, 17 missed). Jeff Carter led all skaters with five shots on goal.
— The Kings won 25-of-56 faceoffs (45%). Michael Amadio won 2-of-10, Anze Kopitar won 12-of-18, Trevor Lewis won 1-of-2, Dustin Brown won 0-of-1, Blake Lizotte won 3-of-12, Nikolai Prokhorkin won 5-of-7 and Jeff Carter won 2-of-6.
Sunday, December 1 is a scheduled recovery day. The Kings will return to Toyota Sports Center for a 10:00 a.m. morning skate on Monday, December 2 before busing to Anaheim for their 7:00 p.m. game at Honda Center.