December 21 postgame quotes: John Stevens

On Dustin Brown scoring the game-winning overtime goal in his 1,000th game:
We just said it was fitting, almost poetic justice. Brownie, it’s a big accomplishment tonight. Played in his 1,000th game, and plays the game hard. I mean, the thing that amazes me about Brownie is he got there pretty quickly, I think, in terms of not missing many games, and he plays the game as hard as anyone. Really, really nice to see him get the winning goal in that situation on such a big night. [Reporter: And what has he meant to this organization, just to see his teammates’ support when he got the game-winner?] Well, I think I said this all along. I think when you sit down with your team and get to know your team, you just understand he is to your team, how well-respected he is on your team. He’s a great family man, he’s a great representative in the community, and he’s an all-situations player for the Kings. The accolades and the compliments you can give Brownie, I don’t think you can overdo it. I think he’s been the identity of the franchise for a while and has done a lot here. I think it’s great. 1,000 games is great, obviously, but 1,000 games with the same organization, coming in as a kid, seeing the team get better and better, and he’d be a big part of it – good for Brownie.

On what gave the team some third period life:
Just challenged our team that we can do better. I thought we were losing battles, I thought we were on the wrong side of pucks. We switched the lines around a little bit trying to get a little bit of a boost, and the guys battled. I thought the Mitchell line was terrific in that situation. They got out there, they won some battles, they turned pucks over, they allowed a puck to get up top and then they won races to the net. It was almost the type of goal we needed, but a real credit to Mitchie and Andy and Brodz for getting out there and doing the yeoman’s work to make sure the puck stayed in the zone. It gave us an opportunity to get one in the net.

On differences between Brown in 2017-18 and his recent seasons:
Well, I think Brownie deserves credit for what’s happened. I think his game was trending last year, quite honestly. It looked like his game was coming back to the direction that he needed to go for the player that he is, and he came in ready to go. There’s nothing given in this game, I don’t think. I think it’s earned. Brownie’s earned the right to play with a great player in Kopitar. He’s earned the right to kill penalties and play on the power play in that situation, and he’s a big minute player for us because of his performance. He’s a guy that’s won two Cups here, and he was a big part of those Cups. He knows how to win. He’s honest with his game. I think he got off-track there for a little bit, but he was honest with what kind of player he needed to be, and he was willing to do the work to become that player again. I know a lot of people are surprised, and it’s easy to say this now that he’s had success, but I’m not surprised. I really thought Brownie is a good player still in the league and he’s continue to be a good player, and I really felt he’s an important guy on our team, and I’ll stand by that.

-Lead photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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