FINAL – Kings 2, Ducks 1 – Quick, McLellan

The LA Kings put together back-to-back, 2-1 victories with another one-goal win, this over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday evening at Honda Center.

The Kings got goals from Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault, in addition to 29 saves on 30 shots by goaltender Jonathan Quick, to earn the victory on the road.

After a scoreless first period, the Kings opened the scoring less than 30 seconds into the middle stanza. Off of a faceoff in the offensive zone, Kempe broke through a tie-up, collected the puck in the slot and fired past Anaheim netminder John Gibson on the blocker side for his team-leading 34th goal of the season. Kempe’s goal was his tenth over this last ten games against Anaheim, and his eighth in his past six played at Honda Center.

The Ducks tied the game with a power-play goal, however, just over five minutes later to knot the score at one. With just seconds remaining on the man advantage, Adam Henrique split the defense off the rush and went to the backhand to beat Quick for his 18th goal of the season, bringing the game to the second intermission tied at one.

The Kings again scored less than a minute into a period, as Danault collected his 25th goal of the season just 32 seconds into the third. After Viktor Arvidsson drove the net, his shot was denied by Gibson, with contact in the process, before Danault buried the rebound. While initially ruled no goal on the ice, the call was overturned following a coaches challenge to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.

The Kings held on during the third period, thanks to a checking effort and a standout performance by Quick.

Hear from Quick and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s win.

Jonathan Quick

Todd McLellan

On Jonathan Quick’s performance in tonight’s win
It looks like he’s been here before. He made huge saves, obviously a lot of them on the penalty kill on our behalf, but he made them when he needed to. He settled us down, that’s what you expect from your goaltender this time of the year and I’ll say it again, it looks like he’s done it before. He feels real good in the net right now and we feel good with him in the net right now.

On the decision to make the coaches challenge on the Danault goal
It’s all of us. It starts [with the video coaches], Billy is involved from a goaltending perspective, Sammy and DJ get the first replay and while they’re looking at it, they’re playing it for us on the bench. Our decision was a fairly simple one once we saw the replay, everything we outside the blue paint and we made out decision based on the criteria we were given, but it can still go any way, you never know.

On if Quick helped to carry the team through the second period
Oh for sure. I thought we started the game well, the first 7-10 minutes, I thought there was a phase in the first when we didn’t want to shoot the puck, we got cute, stickhandled it and I think it cost us a bit of momentum. Second period, penalties, even the spacing of the penalties, it could have been disastrous for us. We killed for two, got stuck out there for another 30 seconds, finally get the lines rolling and do it all over again. In my mind, those penalty kills were two and a half minutes long, nevermind two, and Quickie got us through it. Then we dug in at the end, but it was a fairly evenly game played.

On the response and adjustments the team made between the second and third periods
I thought things got a little bit more emotional, at least on our bench. It was quiet, which is odd for an Anaheim – LA game, some of the cast of characters has certainly changed the complexion, the makeup of the two teams has changed a little bit, but we weren’t as emotional as I thought we might be. When I say that, it’s not running around or yelling at the other players, just getting wound up or a little bit excited on the bench, but that appeared in the third period, that was a good thing.

On Phillip Danault’s contributions and that of the second line
His impact on the team has been significant. It’s pretty evident, when you watch him, what he brings night in and night out, shift after shift, the tenacity that he has. He makes other players better, but I won’t discredit what Arvy and Mooresy have brought to Danault as well, that line is relentless and they’re fun to watch. They do it every night, I don’t know how they don’t get exhausted, but they just keep doing it and we need that.

On the team’s ability to play in and succed in another one-goal game
I mentioned it last week, we’re comfortable in those one-goal, tight games. Goaltender pulled at the end of the night, whether it’s us or the opposition, it almost seems like it happens on a regular basis. There’s nothing to panic about, we’ve been there before. We probably know how to behave better in those games than we do in a 5-1 game, whether we’re up or down, because we’ve had so much experience in them.

Notes –

– Goaltender Jonathan Quick made 29 saves on 30 shots this evening, Quick’s 20th victory of the season.
– Quick became the sixth US-Born goaltender to post nine, 20-win seasons in an NHL career
– Forward Adrian Kempe scored his team-leading 34th goal of the season in the second period.
– Kempe now has ten goals in his last ten games against the Ducks, and eight from his last six games played at Honda Center.
– Forward Phillip Danault scored his 25th goal of the season early in the third period. Danault became the first Kings player to score 25 or more goals in his first season with the organization since the late Pavol Demitra in 2007-08.
– Forward Anze Kopitar collected the lone assist on Kempe’s goal, his 45th of the season. Kopitar reached 45 assists for the first time since the 2017-18 season and the eighth time in his NHL career.

The LA Kings are scheduled to return to the ice for practice tomorrow at 11 Am at Toyota Sports Performance Center.

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