December 28 Rapid Reaction: Canucks 3, Kings 2

Todd McLellan on the team’s effort tonight, even in defeat
Well the effort was really good. When I evaluate this game, we made 8-10 mistakes and three went in our net, which is unfortunate. At the other end, we created numerous opportunities, certainly not all 51 shots were of grade-A quality, but there were plenty that were. I thought we lost the game and got better tonight, which is a good sign for us. Certainly disappointed in the loss, because I thought we worked hard to crawl back in, but to close the gap from the last time we played this team…they owned us for six periods and playing back-to-back after Christmas isn’t easy and I think we certainly closed the gap on them.

On if getting second and third looks was a point of emphasis tonight
It always is. I didn’t think in the first period, we got to a lot of secondary pucks in and around the paint. We talked about it in between the second and third, and as a result we did get to some. There was a few others that Markstrom was just outstanding on and made some really good saves. I’m happy with the way we played in and around that paint.

On the play of the top line (Iafallo – Kopitar – Toffoli)
When they do it properly, everybody seems to follow, but it’s a team mentality, to create that volume, to try and create secondary and third chances – not just the top guys, but they certainly led in that way tonight.

On what tonight’s performance shows about the resiliency of this team
It says that we used our Christmas break well, because coming into it we were gassed, there wasn’t much left in the tank. Tonight is 12-of-16 on the road and 16 in a 30 day period, so that’s a pretty tough schedule for any NHL team. To play that many on the road, and still have that much in the tank means they rested well, were taking care of themselves and are in pretty good condition.

Alex Iafallo on the effort and getting 50+ shots on goal
Yeah, we came back and we pushed for the last two periods and it was good for us to get that amount of shots. That’s what we were focusing on, getting 40, 50 shots. We’ve just got to bear down on a couple of those and keep them out of our net.

On his line getting two goals on second, third opportunities
That’s what coaches and us players were talking about before the game, was just making sure we’re shooting pucks to the net and getting those second chances and third chances. Just do more of that and stay positive.

On what could have made the difference in getting one more of those shots to go in
Just a good bounce and, I don’t know, bear down I guess. That’s a tough one to swallow, especially [because] we wanted that game, we wanted it for the standings. To come in like that, pushing back was good for us but at the same time, we’ve got to finish some opportunities.

Tyler Toffoli on what he was looking for on his breakaway
I was just trying to get him to kind of bite. I gave him a little fake and tried to go high glove, but he just made a really good save.

On the team’s improved momentum as of late, especially on the road
I think we’re just sticking together. Obviously, we’ve been down in games and we’ve found ways to stay in it and, like I said, tonight give ourselves a chance. We came up short and obviously that’s not what our goal is, our goal is to win games, but it’s good and it’s an improvement from earlier on in the season.

On the third period effort, on the second half of a back-to-back
All the chances they weren’t just shots, they were high-quality chances I thought. Markstrom played really well and made some really big saves for them at a key moment of the game.

On his line generating rebound opportunities, leading to both goals
Yeah, I think that’s the way the game’s going now. You’ve got to be able to get shots through and get to the net, because if you don’t get the puck back, everybody’s defense and everything, everybody’s going the other way and you kind of get caught. I thought it was a good job by us and it wasn’t just our line, it was most of the guys, getting the shots, getting the rebounds and creating the second and third chances.

Anze Kopitar on his line with Iafallo and Toffoli tonight
We were moving the puck pretty well for the most part, didn’t get spread out too much. You can make the small little plays that result in gaining zones and eventually creating chances.

On the team bringing energy on the second half of a back-to-back
Yeah we did, like I said the effort was there. You can’t fault the team for that. It was just, we’ve got to be a little bit cleaner, not make as many mistakes and next time we’ll be better.

Video Highlights

Postgame Notes
— With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 111-108-38 all-time against Vancouver, a record that includes a road mark of 44-64-19. The two teams will meet once more this season, on March 21 at STAPLES Center.
— With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 11-15-1 against the Western Conference, 6-11-1 against the Pacific Division, 9-7-4 in one-goal games, 3-16-1 when conceding the first goal, 0-15-1 when trailing after one period, 1-19-1 when trailing after two periods and 11-17-2 when outshooting their opponent.
— Goaltender Jonathan Quick made 23 saves on 26 shots. He has now made more saves against the Vancouver Canucks (1,045) than against any other opponent.
— Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom made an NHL career-high 49 saves in tonight’s game.
— The Kings 51 shots on goal set a season-high, surpassing the previous season high of 47 (10/17/19 vs. BUF). The last time the Kings had 50+ shots in a game was 2/9/16 vs. BOS.
— All 18 Kings skaters recorded at least one shot on goal and 15-of-18 collected multiple shots on goal.
— Forwards Anze Kopitar (1-1-2) and Alex Iafallo (0-2-2) each tallied multiple goals in the defeat. Iafallo tied a season-high for assists (third time) and points (fifth time) in a game.
— Los Angeles attempted 93 shots (51 on goal, 31 blocked, 12 missed). Vancouver attempted 38 shots (26 on goal, 9 blocked, 3 missed). Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo led all skaters with six shots on goal apiece, while Kopitar and Matt Roy led all skaters with nine shots attempted.
— The Kings won 20-of-53 faceoffs (38%). Michael Amadio won 1-of-5, Anze Kopitar won 8-of-22, Blake Lizotte won 1-of-5, Jeff Carter won 4-of-13, Adrian Kempe won 2-of-2, Tyler Toffoli won 0-of-1 and Nikolai Prkohorkin won 4-of-5.

The Kings are scheduled to return to Los Angeles following tonight’s game. Tomorrow is a scheduled off day and the team is slated to return to practice on Monday at 11 AM at Toyota Sports Performance Center.

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