Willie Desjardins, on Cal Petersen winning his first NHL game:
Yeah, what a place to do it, eh? Kind fo his home town, and to go against Toews and Kane, like, probably his idols coming through, two great guys. For him it was a great night. You couldn’t really write it better than him to finish like that, so it was great for him.
Desjardins, on whether he has shifted ice time and moved players around the lineup:
A little bit. We’ve got to get guys – Luff, we sent him down because I said ‘you’re not probably working as hard as I want,’ and I said, ‘when you come back, be our hardest working guy and you’ll stay.’ He worked hard tonight. He was a good player for us. We had lots of guys with good efforts tonight. I thought Kempe was good again tonight, I thought there were two or three younger guys that played pretty well for us.
Desjardins, on the biggest key in the win:
It had to be Cal in net. He did such a good job coming in in this situation. Like, if he has a bad night, we lose. He came in and played great. [Reporter: Is there any advice you can give him before a game like this?] No advice is probably the best thing I did. He just has to step in and play. I think the one that was good was we got him into the game in Los Angeles when we were behind the Leafs. We got him into that game that gave him a taste, and that probably helped him a little bit, coming in tonight. [Reporter: Facing Toews and Kane in a shootout, is that about as tough a test as a goalie can face?] Yeah, those guys are both excellent players and good shootout players, too. It’s kind of a night you dream of, you think about if you’re a young guy coming in. like, I don’t think he could dream of anything this good.
Desjardins, on Los Angeles’ attack late in the first period and early in the second:
We did play better for that period of time. I thought we backed off in the third a little bit. We had a chance on the power play to put it away, and we didn’t. But we’ll get our power plays. We have a good group. It’s just not going right yet. We want to play with speed. We’ve talked about it. We’re trying to play with more speed, but we’ll get challenged. The rest of this road trip’s going to be tough, so our guys will have to come out and have good efforts the rest of the trip.
Desjardins, on Carl Hagelin’s debut and Adrian Kempe’s line:
Hagelin was good tonight, too. His speed helped us. When you look at Kempe and Hagelin and Luff, that line gave us some good speed and made a difference, and I was able to play them lots. And Thompson had a good night too where I could rotate him on other lines. It’s important for us to see our young guys playing well, and I thought our young guys were good tonight.
Jake Muzzin, on being able to get a win for their goaltender:
We need to get wins period. Cal kept us in there in the third and then got us two points really and then he robbed them in the shootout so he was huge for us. You know, happy for him. His first win, played outstanding, deserves it. I thought we had a good start to the game–actually not really–but like second half of the first half was better. We got the ball rolling and through and in the second. And then too many penalties late in the second. They got some momentum, a lot of chances. Our penalty kill was good and then hung onto the third. They got one and we got it in the shootout. So good overall effort.
Muzzin, on what the team was doing well late in the first and into the second:
We were pretty clean in our zone and in the neutral, creating some attacks and then I think when we got the puck in the zone we were getting pucks stopped and turning over and then getting a cycle game going and then we got in penalty trouble. We took three penalties back-to-back I think and they got some momentum and got some chances. I think, like I said, our PK helped us out and Cal made some saves, got us through the period.
Muzzin, on the feeling on the bench during the shootout:
I mean, we’re not out of the hole yet, but it’s nice to get a win and start this road trip off on the right foot and we’ve got to keep plugging away here.
Cal Petersen, on getting the win:
Yeah, I mean it’s the best feeling in the world. Obviously the boys really battled hard for me and just for it to time like that it really special, it’s probably the most fun hockey game of my life so definitely really excited.
Petersen, on whether the experience was heightened being against Chicago:
Obviously the building is one of the best in the NHL and I’ve been to quite a few games, so to be on the other side of it was kind of awe-inspiring at first, but kind of similar to last game. Once I got a few shots and settled in, it kind of felt like just another hockey game. But to get a win in that sort of situation was really special and I’m just really happy with the outcome.
Petersen, on playing hockey at the United Center when he was playing for Notre Dame:
Yeah, it was the last game in my college career. So I came full circle I guess. A little bit better outcome this time than last time. [Reporter: When was that?] That was the Frozen Four in 2017, I believe.
Petersen, on whether he had any extra nerves for tonight’s game:
Yeah, there was definitely some nerves there, but I think once I got on the ice and once I got into my routine, you know, after warm-ups I felt good and it just kind of became another game for me. The situation, the way it was, there was obviously some nerves going into something you really haven’t done before.
Petersen, on facing Toews and Kane in the shootout:
I mean they’re two of the best players in the world so it’s an honor to be on the same ice as them, but at the same time it was fun to get a win for the team. Like I said, for it to come down to a shootout too, it was kind of fun so I had a great time.
Petersen, on whether he had any book on the shootout or if he was just reading the plays:
I didn’t really know much going into it aside from the highlights from TV, but I kind of tried to just play it true and not try and overguess and not get too ahead of myself.
Petersen, on watching Toews and Kane play when he was younger:
Yeah, it was pretty recent. I mean I think my first NHL game was actually here when I was really young. It wasn’t the same atmosphere as it is now, but yeah, I would go here all throughout high school when I was playing minor hockey over here.
Petersen, on it being surreal to play against players who he watched when he was younger:
Yeah, very cool. Like I said, it kind of comes full circle that way, but at least the building was relatively familiar from all the times that I came and watched the games. But great fans, great atmosphere, so made for a fun game.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 85-89-22 all-time against Chicago, a record that includes a road mark of 41-48-11. The Kings have won three straight games at the United Center and are 5-1-0 in their last six games overall against the Blackhawks These teams have two games remaining at Staples Center on March 2 and March 30.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 2-5-1 against the Western Conference, 1-4-0 against the Pacific Division, 2-2-1 in one-goal games, 5-2-0 when scoring first, 2-3-0 when tied after the first period, 5-0-0 when leading after two periods, 1-1 in games that extend past regulation and 1-0 in games decided in shootouts.
–Cal Petersen improved to 1-0 in shootouts this season and in his career, and by stopping both shooters is 1.000 on all shootout attempts. Ilya Kovalchuk improved to 1/1 this season and 25/63 in his career and Anze Kopitar improved to 1/1 this season and 38/99 in his career. It was Kovalchuk’s 12th career game-deciding shootout goal.
–Petersen won his first career NHL game tonight in his first start. He is the 24th different rookie goaltender to start a game for the Kings and 11th to win his first game. The 34 saves were tied for the fourth most by a Los Angeles rookie goaltender (tied with Barry Brust and Mark Fitzpatrick). The one goal against was tied for the second fewest goals against in his first game, behind only Mario Lessard, who earned a shutout in his first NHL game. His .971 SV% was the third best by a Kings rookie goaltender, behind Lessard and Manny Legace, who stopped 49 of 50 shots in his first career game, the most saves by any Los Angeles rookie.
–The Kings have not allowed a power play goal in seven of their last nine games.
–Los Angeles has been held to zero or one goals in the run of play for four straight games.
–Dion Phaneuf appeared in his 999th NHL game.
–In his Kings debut, Carl Hagelin was credited with three shots on goal, one attempt blocked, two hits, one faceoff win and one faceoff loss over 15:47 of ice time, which include 2:49 of shorthanded time that led all forwards.
–Los Angeles attempted 56 shots (32 on goal, 12 blocked, 12 missed). Chicago attempted 59 shots (35 on goal, 14 blocked, 10 missed). Brent Seabrook led all skaters with five shots on goal, while eight different Kings (Muzzin, Doughty, Kovalchuk, Iafallo, Hagelin, Luff, Toffoli, Carter) tied with a team-high three.
–The Kings won 27-of-59 faceoffs (46%). Adrian Kempe won 1-of-6, Michael Amadio won 1-of-2, Anze Kopitar won 12-of-19, Alex Iafallo won 1-of-3, Nate Thompson won 3-of-9, Carl Hagelin won 1-of-2 and Jeff Carter won 8-of-18.
–Lead photo via Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI