Rapid Reaction, feat. Jim Fox
Willie Desjardins, on a good night for the “kids”:
Yeah, it was a great night for ‘em. Cal’s been very good for us, all the way through. It was good for Luff. When I sent him down last time, I talked to him about working harder, and he came back and he’s worked harder. It was a good goal by all three guys on that line. Hagelin made a great play on the wall, Kempe made a good pass. It was good to see that line play well. [Reporter: Have you seen some chemistry out of that, since there are some new pieces on that line?] They had good chemistry since Hagelin got here. That’s their third good game together. I think that Luff’s a big body. He got a little bit nervous later in the game, but that’s to be expected.
Desjardins, on whether the team skated well throughout the game:
No, our best game, I thought, was the first period in Nashville. I thought that’s the best we skated. I thought we were good today again in the first period. It was a hard battle, though. They got a couple power plays, and that gave them some momentum, but you look at our group, they were ready tonight. They wanted to play hard, and Muzzin was great, Marty was great on the back end. We had some guys that played well.
Desjardins, on whether the road trip was a stepping stone towards the home stand:
Yeah, we were better. We didn’t have a great home stand, we weren’t as good as we wanted to be. But I thought outside the two periods, the last period especially in Nashville, we played pretty well on the road.
Desjardins, on whether it’s important for young players’ confidence to win on the road:
Yeah, I think it is. I think guys know that. We have some great leaders in the room, the Kopitars, the Browns, Carter I thought was exceptional, Doughty was good. So we have lots of guys that are good leaders that our young guys can learn from.
Desjardins, on whether the team did a good job defensively in front of the net:
They’ve got a good defense. They get lots of pucks to the net and they’re hard to play against. We did do a pretty good job on that. They had a few chances, and they have the one high, high-end line, too, so I thought we played pretty good overall.
Desjardins, on whether the team did a good job controlling the center of the ice:
A little bit, but they’re a hard team. We did a pretty good job, but they still had chances. You expect that. Like, you expect them to have chances. But all in all, I thought that was a good step for our team.
Desjardins, on whether the emotion has raised over the recent games:
We’ve been better. We had a really disappointing game, the one at home against Toronto. We weren’t as bad as it looked. Like, we were just bad in specialty teams and it got away on us. But the guys are pretty committed to working hard. They have a history of winning, so obviously it means a lot to them to win.
Desjardins, on whether he was rooting for the Cal Petersen shutout late in the game:
He’s played well for us coming in, so you’re always hoping for the kid. But I still think the best game was the Chicago one. I hate to even take that over the shutout, but he played well all the way through the trip. We’re in a bit of a tough spot, so we really needed him to play well, and he played well.
Kopitar, on sustaining the good energy established at the start of the game:
Yeah, I think certainly the third period we locked in on it better than we obviously did in Nashville. It was just trying to make plays, nothing crazy, nothing too risky, but at the same time you’ve got to keep on pressing a little bit and I thought we managed it really good.
Kopitar, on the performances of Luff and Petersen:
Great. You know, I’ve said it before — Cal’s been great for us ever since he got put in at home against Toronto, he couldn’t do much more that game, but three starts in four nights. I can’t imagine it’d be easier for him, but he’s done a really, really good job. And Luffer getting his first one, probably’ll relax a little bit now and play with a little bit more confidence. We’re going to need those guys to play like that going forward.
Matt Luff, on the play that led to his goal:
I mean the puck went off the wall to Hags, he made a great play with a reverse hit and creating a battle, and I think it popped out to Juice for the two-on-one and their D kind of slid over to him and he made a great play. I was kind of screaming for it, but he’s got great hands, a great passer. So he made a good pass and I just had to do the rest. And it wasn’t a perfect shot, but luckily it went in.
Luff, on his reaction to getting his first NHL goal:
Yeah I’ve been working on it a lot over the summer with Matt one of the depth coaches. So pretty excited to put it into play there and get it in.
Luff, on whether he had thought about scoring his first goal before it happened:
I thought about it a little in previous games like in Nash, but in my head I was just thinking, “Don’t think about it, don’t think about it,” but so I just kind of blacked out and shot my shot and it went in.
Luff, on whether he feels a like a weight has been lifted now that he’s scored:
Yeah, I think I settled in a little bit, especially after your first, but I think I still have got to compete and get to the net and get to the dirty areas to keep scoring and keep using my linemates and I think we’ll be good.
Luff, on Petersen’s performance:
Cal, you know what, we’ve been great friends for the past few seasons in Ontario and up here and couldn’t be more ecstatic for his past three games. He’s been stellar for us and walking out with two wins because of him for sure.
Luff, on scoring his first goal and Petersen getting his first shutout on the same night:
Yeah, I think it’s unreal. We talk and I gave him a hug on the ice and I couldn’t have picked a better day for it to happen with him getting a shutout. I think we’re going to talk about it a bit on the plane and you know what, he’s probably one of the best kids so I’m happy it happened to him.
Luff, on Petersen saying he didn’t know it was Luff who scored until he saw the celebration:
I thought I calmed it down. I usually have the worst celebrations, but yeah I wasn’t thinking about it. I think I just threw my arm in the air and jumped into Kempe so that’s about it.
Luff, on if he had any family or friends at the game:
Yeah, I had two friends that I went to high school with so that was pretty cool. [Reporter: Family’s not here?] No, my family’s coming this weekend.
Luff, on what worked well defensively tonight:
I think just second guys quick on the puck and just shutting down their top line. Any time pucks came in we were getting them out real quick and if we had a hiccups, we shut it down and closed the middle and made them stay on the outside.
Cal Petersen, on him getting his first NHL shutout and Luff getting his first NHL goal:
Pretty exciting. We ended a tough road trip on a good note, so I think that’s good moving forward and you know, on a personal side, to get a shutout was very cool and for Luff to get his first too was pretty cool so it was all around a great night.
Petersen, on whether he’s had time to process everything that’s happened:
You know, it’s been a fair bit of a whirlwind considering it was three in four, but whenever I get a quiet moment or whenever I get to talk with my parents or be with my parents it’s been kind of taking the time to soak everything in and appreciate the opportunity and also the good things and the good fortunes. I’ve done a little bit of that, but also obviously kind of turned around pretty quick so I think just looking towards the next one and getting ready for that.
Petersen, on whether he was a Blackhawks fan when he was younger:
I was, yeah. I played in Chicago and was from Iowa so a relative Blackhawks fan. That was probably one of the closest ones.
Petersen, on whether that makes this win a little bit sweeter:
Yeah, yeah exactly. I guess, I don’t know. They’re both equally as sweet. They’re two close teams to my hometown so both teams I grew up looking at.
Petersen, on how this compares to other shutouts he’s had:
It has to be the top for it to come at this level against that kind of competition is, like I said, very rewarding, but at the same time the amount of effort and sacrifice the boys put in tonight it’s just as much a shutout on their part as on mine. I was just sort of at the end of all the great defensive play that they did, but like I said it has to be towards the top.
Petersen, on what the defense did to help during the Blues’ sustained pressure in the third period:
Any time they can box guys out in front and give me clear lanes to see the puck it really helps especially with active D like they have and you know they get a lot of pucks through so any time I can concentrate on that and not get my view obstructed definitely helps. And if there’s any second opportunities they did a great job of blocking guys out and making sure that I was able to get to those second opportunities.
Petersen, on if ever thought his first NHL shutout would happen so early in his career:
No, I feel like I always had maybe the inner confidence that maybe if the opportunity arose I felt like I could rise to the opportunity, but I think a lot of good things had to fall into place for that to happen and for it to happen this early is awesome, but I would’ve taken it at any point. I’m just obviously very happy.
Petersen, on his reaction to Luff’s goal:
Yeah I smiled. I didn’t really actually realize it was him until the celebration and you know he always has some kind of goofy celebration so I knew right away from that.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 77-100-26 all-time against St. Louis, a record that includes a road mark of 29-62-12. The Kings improved to 3-4-2 in their last nine head-to-head meetings, which followed a stretch in which Los Angeles had won 19 of 24 regular season and playoff games in the series. These teams have games remaining at Staples Center on January 21 and March 7.
–With the win, the Kings improved to 3-6-1 against the Western Conference, 2-5-0 against the Central Division, 2-3 in two-goal games, 6-2-0 when scoring first, 3-4-0 when tied after the first period, 6-1-0 when leading after two periods and 5-7-1 when outshot by their opponents.
–Cal Petersen recorded his first career shutout, stopping all 29 shots. It was the 24th shutout by a Los Angeles goalie other than Jonathan Quick since the start of the 2012-13 season (Jones – 7, Budaj – 7, Scrivens – 3, Kuemper – 3, Enroth – 2, Campbell – 1, Petersen – 1). Petersen is 2-1-0 with a .951 save percentage through his first four NHL games.
–Matt Luff became the first player among the Kings’ five rookie skaters (Luff, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Sheldon Rempal, Austin Wagner, Sean Walker) to score his first NHL goal.
–Drew Doughty snapped a six-game pointless streak by assisting on Anze Kopitar’s empty-net goal. With a plus-one rating, he was a plus in a game for the first time since the 5-1 loss to Ottawa on October 13.
–Los Angeles attempted 37 shots (27 on goal, 14 blocked, 6 missed). St. Louis attempted 54 shots (29 on goal, 13 blocked, 12 missed). Ilya Kovalchuk, Joel Edmundson and Alex Pietrangelo tied with a game-high four shots on goal.
–The Kings won 33-of-53 faceoffs (62%). Adrian Kempe won 8-of-12, Anze Kopitar won 11-of-21, Nate Thompson won 5-of-5 and Jeff Carter won 9-of-15.
The Kings are scheduled to practice at 11:00 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center on Tuesday, November 20. There is a possibility this may not be a full-team skate.
–Lead photo via Scott Rovak/NHLI