September 26 postgame quotes: Stevens, Laich, Campbell; photos

John Stevens, on a resilient performance and coming away with a win:
We told the guys before the game, you’re coming from a guy who coached a long time in the minors. When players get called up, it’s usually your best player, and you’re always really pleasantly surprised because guys are waiting for an opportunity. That was kind of what we were faced with tonight. We had guys that wanted to play in key situations, and they got the opportunity to do that. We certainly had our moments. We were on our heels in the game, and that team comes hard and pressures hard, and I thought there was good energy in the building, but I thought they stayed with it. I thought we were able to get on our feet there and generate more of an attack. We told the guys afterwards – winning’s important. We found a way to win a hockey game off a real good checking play, so it was good to see.

Stevens, on Jack Campbell’s strong game as competition for the back-up spot continued:
We think a lot of both those guys, and we all know how important goaltending is to win a hockey game. Those guys have been terrific. Their attitudes and their work in practice to prepare for the games has been real good, so it’s nice to see that they both performed well.

Stevens, on whether he likes where the team is at a week and a half before the season:
Well, I think we’ve got lots of work to do. It’s been kind of an interesting preseason with the trip to China and having guys away and guys here, so it’ll be really good this week to get our numbers down and really get to work with what’s probably going to be with our regular team. But I think the work and the attitude and the ability to implement some of the things we want to get done here has been good. Now it’s a really important last week of training camp.

Stevens, on the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena:
I thought it was terrific. I thought the energy was great. They’ve really done a good job here of creating a buzz. Even though it was only preseason, it was hard to tell. I thought the fans were terrific, I think the building’s terrific. I think they’ve got an exciting team over there, so it looks like they’re doing well in all facets.

Stevens, on Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s performance in the game and throughout camp:
I thought he was really good tonight. I thought even when we were getting hemmed in a little bit, he was a guy who was willing to take pucks in traffic and get to space and allowed us to get a little bit of an attack going in the offensive zone. I thought he made a very good account of himself. The first game in Anaheim, you’re going to get a reference point where you’ve got to feel your way, and then I really thought he took another step with his game in terms of feeling comfortable and relaxing and playing the way he can play, so I thought he was very good tonight.

Brooks Laich, on what he liked about the win:
Just a lot of resiliency. They had a pretty full lineup. We’re coming here with some youth, maybe some inexperience. That for us is a great opportunity. Traveling the day of the game, all that kind of stuff, new building, we didn’t let any of that become an excuse. We got our feet under us in the first and then found our game as the game went on, and we were able to get a win. I’m pretty proud of the guys for how we competed.

Laich, on how his game-winning goal felt, and what it means:
It felt great. I’m not going to lie. It felt pretty good, I got pretty excited. Maybe the most excited I’ve been for an exhibition goal. But I understand my situation. I’m essentially fighting for my NHL life, so every shift is meaningful, every opportunity is meaningful. Coach chose to start me in overtime and I was able to get a lucky break. Great hustle by Al. I lose a faceoff, he hunts the puck. We talked about that, being resilient. Good sticks, hunting the puck, and he was able to slide it over to me and get a goal. I appreciate his work, certainly, and for myself, just very thankful for the opportunities I got tonight, the ice time I got, and hope for another day tomorrow.

Laich, on whether he likes where the team is at this late in the preseason:
Yeah, you’re getting into late September. This is the part of the season where you always start to get excited. The numbers whittle down a little bit at camp. You get some more consistency, smaller numbers, the practices get a little faster, and that’s start date certainly comes closer. But I can’t look that far ahead. I know my situation. Good job tonight, but I want to come back tomorrow, have a good practice tomorrow and hope for another game Thursday.

Laich, on the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena:
Pretty good, actually. The ice was pretty good. Good atmosphere, big building. I think hockey’s going to do well. I love that hockey’s the first professional sport here. Fans were pretty energetic. They even had a couple times where they got in sync and the clapping and stuff was probably tough when it’s your first ever time in the building. Neat to come here an play the inaugural game, the first [Golden Knights] game played in here. I think hockey will do well. I think the fans will really like it.

Jack Campbell, on facing a lot of work and coming away with the win:
It’s just a great win by the guys, as you saw in the overtime winner. Just how we played all night – just really hard, and just didn’t give up and ended up with a great win.

Campbell, on whether the game was more emotional than most preseason games:
Oh, yeah. Like, the atmosphere was great tonight, and it was just fun to get a win in their home opener. It’s a big win for us young guys. I’ve never won an NHL game, so it’s kind of like the first one. I’m just really happy to be in there behind a great group of guys.

Campbell, on tracking the puck and making a big glove save on David Perron:
Honestly, that’s just kind of how it went all night. Just trying to battle, and the guys did a good job of making them go around the outside, and I just tried to stay with him, and all I could really do was just track that he was going high glove, and luckily I got a glove on it.

Campbell, on the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena:
It’s great, it’s such a great atmosphere. Even from warm-ups, it was really exciting. The fans were out there. We had a Kings fans, so that was awesome. All game they were trying to get their side fired up, and it’s just nice to steal one from them.

David Becker/NHLI

David Becker/NHLI

David Becker/NHLI

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

David Becker/NHLI

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

-Lead photo via Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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