Rapid Reaction, feat. Daryl Evans of LA Kings Audio Network
Willie Desjardins, on how Austin Wagner “stuck up for Jonathan Quick”:
I thought it was good, I think we always want to stepup for our teammates. It’s always good when guys stick up for each other.
Desjardins, on whether there was a concern that the disallowed goal on Quick might be allowed:
I don’t know – I think you’re always concerned when it goes in your net and there’s some discretion there. But I think for sure it was the right call. There certainly was contact on him, and I think it was the right call.
Desjardins, on whether the winning streak is sustainable for another four or five games:
I think we’ve played some pretty good games. Today looked like a game after Christmas. It wasn’t our best game, and it probably wasn’t Phoenix’s, either. But I think we can play better. We had a good first period and then we fell off a little bit. If we want to keep sustaining, then we’ll have to play better than we did tonight, for sure.
Desjardins, on whether the winning streak is good reinforcement for younger players:
I think it’s reinforcement for everybody. When things are happening, when you’re winning, you’re getting more pucks to the net. And we’re doing some good things in that stretch. We’ve been better in certain areas in our game. Tonight I just think we got away from it a little bit in the second period and the third, even, so we know we can pick that up and be better at it. But I think it does reinforce it for each of us, that if we do this, we can be successful.
Desjardins, on whether Jake Muzzin’s three-deflection goal was the type of goal that had been missing:
Yeah, it was. It’s hard to win – they got a power play goal on us and we didn’t get anything off ours. It’s tough to win when your specialty teams aren’t coming out on the plus side. But I thought the guys, they stuck together and they played hard, and we have to put pucks to the net, and we talked about that and we got rewarded by it.
Desjardins, on whether Jonathan Quick’s active style keeps him from getting more calls:
That’s the referees’ call. I can’t make the call from the bench. I think Quick’s a good goaltender. I think he’s an active goalie. I talked to the ref on the last one that went through the crease. All the refs do a good job in our league, but we always watch for any contact with the goalies.
Desjardins, on any concern with the penalty kill:
I think our penalty kill has been better, to tell you the truth. It gave up one tonight, but I think it’s been better overall. We got some more pressure, and for sure we have to keep getting better at it, though.
Desjardins, on whether this was the template of stingy five-on-five play they want to replicate:
It was – the first period it was, because we were creating a lot offensively. The second and third, we didn’t create much offensively. We want to create stuff as well, but we have been pretty good about not giving up stuff. We want to make sure we keep creating and making things happen.
Dustin Brown, on improving their win streak to four games:
I think we’re just trying to take it one game at a time, quite honestly. We put ourselves in a pretty big hole and I think it’s more important for our group, especially with the young guys on our team, to understand how we need to play to win. We didn’t do it for a big stretch of games early and I think we have played better. I thought tonight was not our best game, but it’s more important that we start to learn. A lot of new guys, not a lot of experience to learn what it takes to win at this level.
Brown, on if it feels like the team’s play is coming together:
Yeah, I think a big part of it is we’re having contributions up and down the lineup and you know, just we’re in a better rhythm as a team. But it’s about you know playing the right way. I mean, everyone talks about a four game winning streak, but it really just comes down to games at a time — one game at a time. That’s what we need to focus on for the next game as well.
Brown, on younger guys playing in larger roles and what that does for their confidence:
I think it’s a good feeling for those guys to get a little bit of a taste of success as a team. It shouldn’t be fun when we’re losing and it’s not fun when we’re losing, so to get three, four in a row is really good for the feeling in the room and the energy level and we have to find a way to use that and keep the momentum going the right way.
Jonathan Quick, on what he saw from the team tonight:
I think we’ve been playing great in our end these past few and we’ve been doing a good job of taking away their chances and it kind of frustrates teams a little bit and makes them mistakes and turns it over and creates chances in the other end.
Quick, on the defensemen being active in the offensive zone:
I think that’s something that we’ve always done. We’ve got some solid, offensive-minded defensemen. Obviously we’re defense first but when they get down there they can create some stuff, so it’s always good to see them jump in the rush and create some plays and get some chances off of it.
Quick, on Wagner “stepping up” against Nick Cousins:
He’s a tough kid. It’s not the first time I’ve seen him do that, so it’s something I’ve come to expect out of him because he’s done it before so obviously it helps the team to get the team first type attitude and I think that’s something to build on.
Quick, on the impact of tonight’s win:
We won a game tonight, we have to win an afternoon game in a day and a half here so we have to try to win another game. That’s all that we’re focused on right now. That’s it.
Quick, on what he thought went well:
We played a lot of games like that, so it’s nothing that we’re not accustomed to. We were able to get the win against a division team that’s ahead of us so, you know, we’re trying to do the same thing in a day and a half here.
Quick, on any concern there wasn’t going to be incidental contact called on his altercation with Cousins:
No, it seemed like he was calling it right away and he came up to me right away after and explained it, so I don’t think there was any confusion there.
Austin Wagner, on his scuffle with Nick Cousins:
I was just trying to let him know that it’s not acceptable what he did to Quickie there and I think he got the message. I didn’t like how he clipped Quickie there. If it wasn’t going to be a fight it would have been just a hard hit or something like that. But I just had to let him know that it’s not acceptable.
Wagner, on stringing together four wins:
Yeah, obviously winning’s fun and it’s contagious. We know what it takes to win and we got to work hard to get ‘em so we’ve got to keep going into the next game.
–With the win, Los Angeles improved to 90-102-36 all-time against the Arizona franchise, a record that includes a home mark of 50-47-17. The Kings improved to 3-5-1 in their last nine home games in the series. With games remaining at Gila River Arena on March 9 and April 2, each team has a 1-1-0 record in the season series.
-With the win, Los Angeles improved to 10-11-1 against the Western Conference, 7-5-1 against the Pacific Division, 6-4-3 in one-goal games, 4-17-2 when their opponent scores first, 8-7-1 when tied after the first period, 5-3-1 when tied after the second period and 9-12-2 when outshot by their opponent.
–The Kings won their fourth straight game, a season-long winning streak. Their last winning streak of at least five games was an eight-game streak that took place from November 25-December 9, 2017.
–Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Los Angeles is 107-46-39 when tied after two periods.
–Because the Kings were the lone team without a 10-goal scorer and Brown scored his team-leading 10th of the second in the third period, this was the final game of the 2018-19 season contested by a team without a double-digit scorer.
–Kyle Clifford earned the 100th point of his career (48-52=100) on Jake Muzzin’s first period goal. It was his first assist since April 7, the final game of the 2017-18 season.
–Alex Iafallo’s four-game goal streak and seven-game point streak (4-5=9) were snapped.
–Jonathan Quick won the 298th game of his career.
–Los Angeles won 28-of-62 faceoffs (45%). Adrian Kempe won 4-of-15, Michael Amadio won 0-of-1, Anze Kopitar won 17-of-33, Ilya Kovalchuk won 1-of-1, Derek Forbort won 0-of-1 and Nate Thompson won 6-of-11.
–The Kings attempted 49 shots (26 on goal, 13 blocked, 10 missed). The Coyotes attempted 51 shots (27 on goal, 12 blocked, 12 missed). Derek Stepan led all skaters with four shots on goal, w hile Drew Doughty, Brendan Leipsic and Sean Walker tied with a team-high three shots.
The Kings are scheduled to practice at 11:00 a.m. Friday at Toyota Sports Center.
–Lead photo via Juan Ocampo/NHLI