The Kings started the game well, carried that momentum into a strong second period and finished things off with the insurance goal that had eluded them in past meetings with Minnesota. All of that, combined with the team’s first shutout of the season, from goaltender Jonathan Quick, resulted in a 4-0 victory over the Wild, to cap a brief three-game homestand at 2-0-1.
The Kings started things off early with a power-play goal from Jaret Anderson-Dolan, their third straight game with a goal on the man advantage. Anderson-Dolan now has three goals from four games played himself, and tallied for the first time in his professional career on the power play.
Anderson-Dolan created the team’s second goal of the game as well, as he drove down the right wing and hit his linemate, Trevor Moore, who was trailing off the rush. The California native converted his shot inside the far post for his first goal of the season, and a 2-0 advantage after 40 minutes.
The Kings faced a familiar situation in the third period – up two goals against Minnesota. Tonight, they flipped the script, getting the insurance marker with just over three minutes to play, as they skated to a three-goal advantage, later made four on Drew Doughty’s empty netter. The third goal was a familiar combination, from Anze Kopitar to Dustin Brown for a slam-dunk goal at the back post, Brown’s team-leading seventh of the season.
In total, the Kings got 28 saves from Quick, who posted the 53rd shutout of his NHL career, and improved their record to 5-6-3 on the season.
Hear from Moore, Anderson-Dolan, Quick and Todd McLellan after tonight’s victory.
On the team’s constant pressure throughout the game tonight
I think we started the game really strong, we were clicking and getting pucks in, forechecking, making them play in their end. We just continued that play throughout the night.
On the young defensemen playing in front of him
I mean, we have a lot of really good young defensemen. It seems like, every couple of nights, you see someone different and they’re all chipping in, they’re all playing well. They know the system well, they compete hard, and it’s fun playing with them.
On getting the shutout tonight, and if they’re still important to him
I mean, it’s a win. I’ve always felt that way, when you get shutouts, it’s more really on the team than the goalie, so that’s a team stat in my opinion. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a lot of good teams.
On if the way the team played tonight is a recipe for success for the Kings this year
Oh for sure. I think if you look at the wins we had this year, and going back to last year, that’s kind of the formula that’s worked the best for us. When we have all four lines, six D, goalie, all playing the same way and breaking out, quick through the neutral zone, good at getting pucks deep, good at forechecking, we’re a really hard team to beat.
On the team’s performance, and getting the two points tonight
I think it’s a full team effort. Quickie was huge for us, that game could have been a lot different at different times, so we’re really thankful for him.
On his goal in the second period, and the play with Anderson-Dolan
That guy’s playing out of his mind right now, he’s awesome. I saw him across the blueline and he kind of peeked over at me, so I thought maybe there’s a chance he can make that pass, but it still surprised me. He’s playing great and I’m lucky to play with him.
On his line with Anderson-Dolan and Carl Grundstrom, as of late
We started off a couple games together, we were good on the forecheck, we’re three guys who want to work hard and make life hard on the opposing team. We did that and then Todd just talked to us about keeping plays alive, and using our skill, that kind of thing, and so far we’re doing that. It’s still early, and we’ve got to keep pushing.
On if tonight’s start was the explosive start he was looking for, or close to it
It would be close. When we had an opponent that hadn’t played in [14 days], and they’ve had very little practice time, one of the things we wanted to do was get off to a good, heavy start, and I thought we did that through the first few shifts. We got onto the power play and scored, and that certainly helped. They eventually found their legs and skated themselves back into the game, and it wasn’t an easy night. They’re a hard group to handle, Quickie had to make some really good saves, we needed some timely goals to put them out. We’re happy for a lot of individuals, and certainly for the team.
On closing out tonight’s game, after seeing two-goal leads slip against the Wild earlier in the season
We didn’t take as many penalties as we did in the past and getting the third goal I think was really important for us. It kind of took their two-goal belief away and it settled us down. It happened late in the game, but it was important that it happened. I thought we handled their cycle a little bit better than we did, certainly on the road, but here at home too the first four times we played them.
On Jonathan Quick getting the shutout tonight
It’s a great feeling, he’s probably the one I was the happiest for. It’s been a difficult week for him, for no other reason than he got pulled and we didn’t go back to him right away. That’s a tough thing, when you have a storied career like he has, he was stubborn, he worked real hard in practice, he was ready for tonight. He took advantage of the opportunity and that’s what a true pro does. The group really played hard down the stretch for him, so that he would get that shutout.
On building off of tonight’s momentum heading onto the road
We’ll have a quick skate tomorrow, it won’t be overly heavy by any means because we’ve got a lot of hockey to play, probably our toughest road trip of the season lies ahead. Six games is as long as it’s going to get and the teams we’re going to play right now are playing really well. This Minnesota team, by the time we get to them again, they’re going to have a number of bodies back in the lineup, and they’re going to be what they were in the past. Tomorrow, we’ll clean our legs out, I don’t think you’ll see a heavy, hard practice on our behalf. We’ll address some things that we may need in Arizona, which is a team that’s playing a really hard, gritty game. We’ll prepare for the next night, that’s all we can do, we want the guys to keep pitching better and better for us, night in and night out, and if they do that then we’ll continue to move this thing forward.
– With 28 saves tonight, goaltender Jonathan Quick picked up the team’s first shutout of the season and the 53rd of his professional career
– Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored the first power-play goal of his NHL career tonight and collected his third goal overall in his last four games played.
– The 21-year-old forward added an assist in the second period, on Trevor Moore’s goal, and now has consecutive multi-point games.
– Trevor Moore scored his first goal of the season, and now has points in three of his last four games played.
– Dustin Brown scored his seventh goal of the season tonight, the most on the Kings and tied for second-most in the West Division this season
– With the primary assist on Anderson-Dolan’s goal, Jeff Carter collected his sixth point of the season against Minnesota (1-5-6), leading all skaters on both sides in the season series.
– For the third time in three games between the two teams played at STAPLES Center this season, the Kings took a two-goal lead into the third period. Los Angeles is now 1-0-2 in those games.
– The Kings now have 14 power-play goals this season through 14 games played and have scored a PPG in three consecutive games, with five total goals in that stretch
The Kings are scheduled to skate tomorrow morning at 11 AM at Toyota Sports Performance Center, before traveling to Arizona later in the day.