He’s doesn’t much care for the nickname but Nate the Great is indeed that. Nathan MacKinnon reached Avalanche legendary status at age 25 on Tuesday night by assisting on two goals in Colorado’s 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. MacKinnon’s 499th and 500th career points made him the fourth player in…Nathan MacKinnon reaches 500 career points as Avalanche improves to 2-1 — The Denver Post
While the opening-game roster and new taxi squad aren’t what the Kings has envisioned, they’re ready to pick up where they left off last season in Thursday’s opener against Minnesota at Staples Center.Kings approach new season with playoff aspirations — Whittier Daily News
Several critical issues remained to be resolved, including how to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases in North AmericaDucks, Kings and rest of NHL inching closer to mid-January return to the ice — Orange County Register
In the same week that the Kings learned their season had officially ended, they made their first move of the offseason. They announced on Saturday morning they would not retain their top minor league affiliate’s head coach Mike Stothers had been a head coach with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliates for the past six…Kings part ways with Ontario Reign coach Mike Stothers — Press Telegram
Toronto’s John Tavares, right, and the Kings’ Trevor Lewis battle for the puck during the first period of Thursday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 05: Blake Lizotte #46 of the Los Angeles Kings jumps over the puck in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs during…Kings begin extended homestand with 4th win in a row — Daily News
LOS ANGELES — On a night when the Kings welcomed back some old friends, they continued their season-best winning streak with a 1-0 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at Staples Center. The Kings have won four straight for the first time this season.
Jonathan Quick held off the Leafs for 65 minutes, making 36 saves in his 52nd career shutout, and former Ducks goalie Freddie Andersen did the same for the Leafs, stopping 30 shots. It was the fourth shootout for the Kings this season but the first time they went into it scoreless. The previous three were all losses.
Center Anze Kopitar and left wing Adrian Kempe scored in the shootout for the Kings, while left wing William Nylander was the lone Leafs scorer. Kopitar also made a number of crucial defensive plays in the game.
“When you have the head of the snake, if you will, it makes it a lot easier for a coaching staff, the coach and players to respond,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s game:
I thought it was a pretty even hockey game all the way through. I thought our team did a good job in the game, especially as we got through that first period, staying with the process just with the way that they play, clogging the neutral zone and defend really well. I thought as we found our way through that, adjusted in the second and third I thought we did a good job as a team. It’s a game that really could have gone either way. We’re happy to get one point, we could have two in overtime or the shootout, it didn’t go our way in that sense, but not a lot to complain about for us as a group.
On how the team managed frustration when it couldn’t convert scoring chances:
I thought they dealt with it pretty well at times. I think they were 0-for-3 on breakaways so the guys that are missing those type of chances, you can see there’s a little frustration setting in, but in terms of the way the game was going I thought we managed it okay. At times I felt we turned it over a little bit through the neutral zone, but that’s the number one team in the NHL at holding their blueline. They’re going to make it hard on you, you know that going into the game and they did that at times. I thought we stayed with it, Fred in net was outstanding for us. We just couldn’t find a way to get one in. Tonight is a night where we need our power play to be the difference. So if there’s an area we’d like to certainly be better in, that would be it.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (30 SAVES)
On playing behind tonight’s defensive effort:
It was a great game, a beautiful game. It was great to play behind a team like that. The way we played made it easy for me. It was unfortunate, obviously, we couldn’t get the extra point.
On how he felt after a few days without playing:
I felt pretty dialed in.
On how unusual it is for the team to be shutout:
I mean, he played incredible down there too. So I don’t think that’s odd. He’s one of the best in the League, I think, when he’s on his game. We could have easily scored but he pulled out some nice saves when we had our chances.
KYLE CLIFFORD (5 HITS)
On Jonathan Quick’s performance tonight:
Yeah, he’s a — Quick is a competitor. Obviously, he had a pretty good game and I felt like he stole it for them.
On tonight’s performance:
I thought for the most part we controlled the game, we played pretty well. We had a lot of scoring chances. I’m familiar with them, I know they’re a tight defensive team. It just would have been nice to come out with the win here.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-24-9 – 79 Points) vs.
LOS ANGELES KINGS (26-35-6 – 58 Points)
THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2020
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Frederik Andersen stopped all 30 of the shots he faced in regulation and overtime in the shootout loss.
IN THE SHOOTOUT
- Jason Spezza: Stopped (2019-20: 2/4)
- Auston Matthews: Missed (2019-20: 1/6)
- William Nylander: Goal (2019-20: 2/4)
- Mitch Marner: Missed (2019-20: 0/5)
- Frederik Andersen: 2/4 (2019-20: 15/24)
SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)
|TORONTO||5 (3)||14 (12)||11 (10)||6 (0)||36 (25)|
|LOS ANGELES||11 (8)||5 (5)||7 (7)||7 (0)||30 (20)|
SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)
|TORONTO||16 (11)||27 (24)||20 (18)||7 (0)||70 (53)|
|LOS ANGELES||23 (16)||9 (9)||13 (13)||13 (0)||58 (38)|
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
|Record on the Road||18-15-2 (35 Games)|
|All-Time Record vs. Los Angeles||65-64-21-3 (153 Games)|
|All-Time Record vs. Los Angeles on the Road||25-38-10-2 (75 Games)|
|Record vs. Western Conference||16-9-3 (28 Games)|
|Record vs. Pacific Division||9-4-2 (15 Games)|
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
|Shot Attempts||10 (Nylander)|
|Faceoff Wins||10 (Tavares)|
|Faceoff Win Percentage||100% (Engvall – 1 won, 0 lost)|
|Blocked Shots||6 (Holl)|
|Power Play TOI||4:35 (Marner, Matthews, Nylander)|
|Shorthanded TOI||5:22 (Dermott, Holl)|
|5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage||72.7% (Malgin – 16 for, 6 against)|
|Opponent scores first||12-19-7|
|Tied after 1||16-6-5|
|Tied after 2||8-6-3|
|Do not score a power play goal||15-15-5|
|Do not allow a power play goal||21-8-5|
- The Maple Leafs went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play tonight.
- Pierre Engvall, Frederik Gauthier and Jason Spezza were the lone Toronto skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.
- Justin Holl and William Nylander were on the ice for a team-high 24 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Holl finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 66.7 percent (24 for, 12 against), while Nylander finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 63.2 percent (24 for, 14 against).
- Zach Hyman skated in his 300th NHL game.
- Kasperi Kapanen skated in his 200th NHL game.
- Friday, March 6, 10:00 p.m. at Anaheim Ducks (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Thursday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. vs. Nashville Predators (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Saturday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Boston Bruins (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
- Tuesday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. vs. New Jersey Devils (TSN4, FAN 590)
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-24-8 – 78 Points) vs.
LOS ANGELES KINGS (25-35-6 – 56 Points)
MARCH 5, 2020 ▪ 10:30 PM EST
STAPLES CENTER (LOS ANGELES, CA) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ONTARIO ▪ RADIO: TSN 1050
MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus LOS ANGELES
|ALL-TIME RECORD:||65-64-21-2 (152 Games)|
|ALL-TIME ON THE ROAD:||25-38-10-1 (74 Games)|
MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus LOS ANGELES
|GAMES PLAYED:||Jason Spezza (24), Tyson Barrie (21), John Tavares (18)|
|GOALS:||John Tavares (4), Tyson Barrie (4), Jason Spezza (4)|
|ASSISTS:||John Tavares (12), Tyson Barrie (10), Jason Spezza (9)|
|POINTS:||John Tavares (16), Tyson Barrie (14), Jason Spezza (13)|
|PENALTY MINUTES:||Jason Spezza (12), Tyson Barrie (10), Mitch Marner (8)|
MAPLE LEAFS – KINGS TEAM STATS
|GOALS FOR (Rank):||232 (1st)||164 (30th)|
|GOALS AGAINST (Rank):||219 (28th)||203 (t-15th)|
|POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):||43/184 [23.4%] (6th)||32/180 [17.8%] (22nd)|
|PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):||141/184 [76.6%] (26th)||138/181 [76.2%] (28th)|
|SHOTS (Rank):||2199 (4th)||2186 (6th)|
|5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):||3323 (3rd)||3276 (4th)|
|5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):||52.0% (6th)||53.3% (4th)|
|FACEOFF % (Rank):||52.8% (3rd)||50.7% (9th)|
MAPLE LEAFS – KINGS NOTES
|First Matchup between Clubs:||October 25, 1967 vs. LAK (Toronto 4, Los Angeles 2)|
|All-Time Record:||65-64-21-2 (152 Games)|
|All-Time Record at Home:||40-26-11-1 (78 Games)|
|All-Time Record on the Road:||25-38-10-1 (74 Games)|
|Last Win vs. Opponent on the Road:||November 13, 2018 (Toronto 5, Los Angeles 1)|
MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. KINGS
|Jack Campbell||Played for Los Angeles from 2016-20.|
With LAK: 57 GP, 20-24-5; 2.51 GAA; .918 SV%
|Kyle Clifford||Played for Los Angeles from 2010-20.|
With LAK: 660 GP, 60 G – 69 A – 129 P
|Alex Kerfoot||100th career NHL game (Nov. 21, 2018 (COL) at LAK)|
|Jake Muzzin||Played for Los Angeles from 2010-19.|
With LAK: 496 GP, 51 G – 162 A – 213 P
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
|POWER PLAY POINTS||24 (Matthews)|
|SHORTHANDED POINTS||2 (Engvall, Kapanen)|
|FACEOFF WIN%||55.4% (Matthews, Tavares)|
|5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %||54.5% (Nylander)|
|BLOCKED SHOTS||110 (Muzzin)|
|TOI PER GAME||24:15 (Rielly)|
|PP TOI PER GAME||3:09 (Marner)|
|SH TOI PER GAME||2:50 (Ceci)|
MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS
|Faceoffs||– The Maple Leafs rank third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.8%) and are second among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (54.0%).|
|Goals by Strength||– The Maple Leafs hold the NHL lead in goals scored at 5-on-5 (159).|
|Goals by Period||– Toronto is second in the NHL in goals scored in the second period (86) and are tied for fifth in the NHL in goals scored in the third period (77).|
|Power Play||– The Maple Leafs have the fewest power play opportunities (184) among NHL teams that have scored at least 40 power play goals (43).|
|Penalty Kill||– Toronto has been shorthanded 184 times this season, which is the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.|
|Scoring First||– Toronto has a .767 win percentage when scoring first, which is tied for the fourth-highest in the NHL.|
MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES
|Frederik Andersen||– Tied for third among NHL goaltenders in wins (28).- Ranks fourth in the NHL in saves (1,372).- Is 8-1-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in 16 career games against Los Angeles.- Has a 16-6-0 record on the road in 2019-20, with a 2.78 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage|
|Tyson Barrie||– Has eight multi-assist games, which is tied for the fourth-most among NHL defencemen.- Tied for third among NHL defencemen in multi-point games (12).|
– Averages 14.29 shot attempts per game at 5-on-5, which is the fifth-highest average among NHL defencemen who have played in at least 50 games.- Ranks 16th among NHL defencemen in 5-on-5 time on ice per game (18:18).- Ranks 15th among NHL defencemen in slap shots taken (56).
|Jack Campbell||– Has a 3-1-1 record with a .913 save percentage and a 2.73 goals-against average since being acquired by the Maple Leafs.- Acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade with Los Angeles on February 5.|
|Kyle Clifford||– Eighth among NHL left wingers who have appeared in 50 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.2%).|
– Averages 14.97 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks 18th among left wingers.- Ranks 10.14 hits per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks 30th among NHL skaters.- Acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade with Los Angeles on February 5.
|Pierre Engvall||– Ninth among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (51.5%). – Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 52.6 percent at 5-on-5, which is tied for the seventh highest among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games.- Ranks fourth among rookie forwards in 5-on-5 shot attempts per 60 minutes (13.97).|
|Justin Holl||– Has started the eighth-lowest percentage of his 5-on-5 shifts (42.0%) in the offensive zone among right-handed defencemen.- Ranks second in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (51.7%) among NHL defencemen who have started less than 45 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone (42.0%).- Has the second-highest unblocked shot attempt percentage at 5-on-5 (52.3%) among NHL defencemen to have started fewer than 45 percent (42.0%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.|
|Zach Hyman||– Ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters in points per game (0.77).- Fourth among Toronto forwards in even-strength time on ice per game (16:07).- Ranks third among Toronto forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game (1:47).|
|Kasperi Kapanen||– Has drawn 20 penalties this season and taken eight, which gives him the highest net penalties among Toronto skaters (+12) and ranks tied for 12th among NHL forwards.- Tied for third among Maple Leafs and tied for 12th among NHL right wingers who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.25) at 5-on-5.- Has recorded 21 (9-12-21) of his 36 points on the road this season.|
|Alex Kerfoot||– Ranks second among Toronto skaters who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.27) at 5-on-5.- Eighth among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (8-17-25).- Tied for second among Maple Leafs in primary assists at 5-on-5 (11).|
|Mitch Marner||– Tied for ninth among NHL skaters in assists (49).- Has 12 multi-assist games, which is tied for the seventh-most among NHL skaters.- Averaging 1.16 points per game, which is tied for the 16th-highest average in the NHL.- Averaging 1.78 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is tied for ninth among NHLers who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Eighth in the NHL in primary assists (31).- Ranks fifth among NHL forwards in time on ice per game (21:29)|
|Auston Matthews||– Second among NHL skaters in goals (46).- Leads the NHL with 35 even-strength goals.- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (30).- Tied for first in the NHL in wrist shot goals (27).- Tied for second in the NHL in multi-goal games (10).- Tied for sixth in the NHL in multi-point games (25).- Ninth among NHL skaters in points (46-33-79).- Fourth in the NHL with 275 shots on goal.|
|William Nylander||– Leads the Maple Leafs and is tied for fifth among NHLers in game-winning goals (7).- Tied for 11th in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (19).- One of 13 NHLers to average at least 14:00 minutes per game at 5-on-5 (14:30) while maintaining a goal per 60-minute rate of at least 1.20 (1.21).- Ranks eighth among NHL forwards who average 14:00 per game (14:30) in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.5%).|
|Rasmus Sandin||– Ranks eighth among rookie defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games in points per 60 minutes of ice time (1.07) at 5-on-5. – Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.1 percent, which ranks fifth among rookie defencemen who have skated in at least 10 games.|
|Jason Spezza||– Averaging 2.05 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fourth-highest average among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Averaging 0.80 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which ranks fifth among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 50 games.- Averaging 1.25 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is tied for the third-highest average among Toronto skaters.|
|John Tavares||– Tied for 22nd among NHL skaters in multi-point games (17).- Ranks 10th among NHL centres in 5-on-5 ice time per game (15:29).- Tied for 14th in the NHL in faceoff wins (588)- Has recorded 13 points (6-7-13) in 13 games against Pacific Division teams.- Has 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 31 games on the road.|
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
|Martin Marincin||Has points (1-2-3) in three consecutive games.|
|Mitch Marner||Has points (1-3-4) in four consecutive games.|
|Auston Matthews||Has goals (3) in three consecutive games and points (3-3-6) in four consecutive games.|
|Zach Hyman||One game from 300 NHL games|
|Kasperi Kapanen||One game from 200 NHL games|
|Mitch Marner||Three games from 300 NHL games|
|Jason Spezza||One assist from 600 assists|
|Cody Ceci (Ankle)||On injured reserve.|
|Andreas Johnsson (Knee)||On injured reserve.|
|Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)||On injured reserve.|
|Jake Muzzin (Hand)||Sustained a broken hand on February 25 at Tampa Bay.|
|Morgan Rielly (Foot)||On injured reserve.|
|Man Games Lost: 187|
|February 26||Recalled defenceman Calle Rosen from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).|
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — As much as Kyle Clifford, and Jake Muzzin, can bring a winning pedigree to the Maple Leafs, the man coaching their former club sees their potential impact a little differently. Read MoreEx-Kings Clifford, Muzzin making an impact as Leafs continue to grow — Toronto Sun
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — As much as Kyle Clifford, and Jake Muzzin, can bring a winning pedigree to the Maple Leafs, the man coaching their former club sees their potential impact a little differently.
“I think that sometimes the winner tag is overrated,” Los Angeles Kings coach Todd McLellan said on Wednesday. “I think it’s the ability to fit in — the chemistry tag should be the one that is addressed more than the winner tag.”
The Leafs have been getting that symmetry with Muzzin, who signed a four-year extension with Toronto last week, for more than a year after acquiring Muzzin from the Kings in January 2019. The experience of having Clifford, and goalie Jack Campbell, as an influence on the group will hit one month on Thursday following the trade with the Kings on Feb. 5 that brought both to Toronto.
Clifford and Muzzin hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Kings, though as McLellan indicated, that’s only part of the package.
While Muzzin has taken on the status of a spectator after breaking a knuckle on his right hand last week against Tampa Bay — Muzzin said on Wednesday he would like to be back before the original prognosis of four weeks’ absence is up, but only if it “makes sense” — Clifford continues to take on a greater role, off the ice as much as on.
“He has really been terrific,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice at the Kings’ facility near the Los Angeles International Airport. “His perspective that he has, the experiences he has, also the type of personality he has to be able to talk to anyone on the team.
“He is a competitor and he brings it every day. Those types of things rub off on the rest of your team.”
The Leafs could have used Muzzin’s guidance and presence on the ice on Tuesday night in San Jose, when there was general disorganization in the defensive zone during a 5-2 loss against the Sharks. While Muzzin and the rest of the injured Leafs might not have liked what they witnessed, the defenceman had some perspective a day later.
“It’s tough to be at the top of your game consistently night in and night out,” Muzzin said. “The teams that find a way to do that the most are at the top of the league and get themselves to win a Cup.
“It’s a battle throughout the season to continually bring your emotion and compete level. We’re working to get to that.
“We believe in the group in there. It’s just that getting there is tough.”
The Leafs, who take on the Kings on Thursday night at the Staples Center, won their previous three games and four in five before the Sharks attacked.
Veterans such as Muzzin, Clifford, Jason Spezza and captain John Tavares, whether they have won the Cup, are a positive influence, but with the emphasis in Toronto on a younger core of players, the learning curve will have bumps.
“We don’t want to be responding to anything that is happening,” Keefe said. “We want to be dictating it and we want to be confident when we come to the arena every day.”
So the work continues to try to be, as Muzzin said, as close to consistent every night as possible.
“We don’t want to say ‘Hey, we put together three pretty good games last week and that was just a one-off,’” Keefe said of the San Jose loss. “There have been other times where we have looked like that.
“One of the bigger issues is that when we have looked bad, we have been really bad. We’re not going to have great nights every night and we’re not going to win every night. But we’re capable of putting together a level of competitiveness and work ethic and structure every day to make sure it doesn’t go south to that degree.”
The Leafs will be better once Muzzin returns. Clifford is making in-roads.
We come back to something else McLellan said, which applies to the NHL as a whole.
“Sometimes coaches, media, fans, we live in this fantasy world that we’re just going to run over teams and take advantage no matter how we are built,” McLellan said. “The parity in the league is immense and they’re human beings. They’re going to have off-nights.”
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Sheldon Keefe’s head triumphed over his heart. Read MoreAndersen returns to Leafs crease on Thursday versus Kings — Toronto Sun
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Sheldon Keefe’s head triumphed over his heart.
Rather than give goaltender Jack Campbell a start on Thursday against his former club, the Los Angeles Kings, Keefe will turn to Frederik Andersen after Campbell was sharp against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Campbell will start on Friday in Anaheim against the Ducks, giving Andersen another rest.
“The biggest thought process for us is we wanted to get Jack in two out of three games this week,” Keefe said. “That trumps anything in terms of him playing against his former team.
“Also, Fred’s our starting goaltender. It makes sense for him coming off (the fact) he didn’t play (Tuesday) night, had a full practice day (Wednesday) and he goes in and plays a game. He deserves that. At this time of year especially, you have to make those right decisions.”
Keefe has spoken of load management regarding Andersen, without using those words specifically.
Andersen has made 50 starts this season, tying him for third-most in the NHL prior to games on Wednesday. Campbell gives the Leafs a legitimate, don’t-need-to-worry backup, and we assume Campbell will be used more in the final month of the regular season.
Defenceman Rasmus Sandin will be back in the lineup after sitting in San Jose, with Calle Rosen likely to be scratched.
— Terry Koshan
Less than three weeks from the NHL’s trade deadline, the last-place Kings made the first of what could be several significant trades on Wednesday night as they look to rebuild. The Kings sent forward Kyle Clifford and goaltender Jack Campbell to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Trevor Moore and two third-round draft…Kings trade Kyle Clifford, Jack Campbell to Maple Leafs — Press Telegram
HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK On tonight’s game: We knew as a coaching staff – obviously, we did the pre-scout – we knew what we were in for. We knew it was going to be a grind. After the first period, the teams were on pace for 21-21 in shots. They did a real good job in the neutral zone; they did a real good job in their own zone blocking shots and staying on the inside. They just stayed with it. That’s what they’ve been doing. They’ve got good leadership there. If you look at it, they’ve got stars in three positions in Kopitar, Doughty and then in net [Quick]. So, they’ve got some leadership for the group as they try to build it. Obviously, their coach and their staff did a real good job. They made it hard, there was no free space. It was hard, but I thought it was a really good game for our team to just stay the course, this is where we are, do things right, don’t cheat and you’ll be rewarded in the end.
On Tavares’ return to the lineup: We were just talking about it. It doesn’t matter what you do, how hard you train, what work. He was fine but you’re not playing NHL games. I imagine Hyman is going to go through a stretch too. It’s hard when you’re sitting out and everyone else is practicing no matter who you work with and how good the development team is and all that stuff, it’s still not NHL hockey.
On if Dermott is rounding into his usual form: Yeah, the offensive side. You’ve still got to – you can’t have chances, that’s the key. Chances – you’ve got to be safe. Do all the other stuff and be safe and then you’re like the old guy.
On Petan’s performance tonight: I thought it was good for Petey. He went to work. He went down, went to work, came back and, obviously, there’s a guy for that spot so there’s not going to be a lot of opportunity. [Moore] is a real good hockey player too. It was an opportunity and we wanted to see Pete. Good for him.
On the Matthews line scoring a pair of goals despite few chances: I thought it was a tough night for every line. I thought Kerfoot’s line was real good, but there wasn’t a whole lot. From their end, they didn’t generate anything either. They had to throw it in, couldn’t get it through from the point, the blocked shots. Some people would think it was ugly, I thought it was beautiful.
On what Kerfoot brings to the team: I think Kerf is a good hockey player. A real smart, smart person, a good person, he works hard. He’s greasy, he’s competitive, he knows how to play, he’s just going to get better and better. I think we can have an unbelievable line there with [Mikheyev] and [Kapanen] once we get it organized and they get to know each other and feel good.
On Marner taking shorthanded faceoffs: I forget what happened, it’s just the way it was. Hyman will take those right-handed faceoffs when he’s back. Hyms is good at it, he’ll work at it. [Shore] has done a heck of a job for us there, really good job.
On why he thinks tonight was a beautiful game: We need to go through that. We need to figure out who we are and the harder the game is the better it is for the team. Now, would you like to win by a touchdown and everyone relax and all that? Yeah, but we’re not getting anywhere like that. This is important to do. You give up one goal, you play well without the puck, the goalie makes some saves, we didn’t win it on special teams, we had to grind. It’s good for us.
On the Kings being a different style of team than McLellan’s previous teams: That’s what I said this morning — every team you coach is different. The reason it’s different is you have a different group of guys. That’s how he has to coach to have success with this team. I talked to him for a long time this morning, did the pre-scout, have a pretty good handle on what the program is there. He’s going to do a real nice job
. On if Hyman will be available next game: I don’t know.
ALEX KERFOOT (1 GOAL)
On the hit he received by Jeff Carter in the first period: It was a pretty big hit. He made a good play; I had my head down a little bit and saw him at the last second but couldn’t get out of the way.
On his second period goal: It was good. It was kind of a broken play. There was a good line change by [Moore] and they turned the puck over right at the blue line and I was fortunate enough to be in a good spot and tried to put it on net and it went in.
On what the Kings did well tonight: They play well defensively. They lock it down pretty good, they don’t give up a lot off the rush, they kind of stay back and they’re tough to play against. We played them pretty good, stuck with our game plan and were able to get a couple there at the end.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On the team’s performance tonight: I think we just stayed patient throughout the whole game. Not really much going on, I guess, in the first two periods, but we tried to stay patient and tried to play as little in our zone as we could, just tried to break out fast. Obviously, a tight game there and couple of big goals in the third.
On the challenge of staying patient when the opponent tries to slow the team down: It’s tough, but, I mean, that’s what a lot of teams tend to do, especially against us. We can do a better job of getting through the neutral zone and keeping it a bit more simple so we can get in the offensive zone and play in there. At times, games are going to be like that. Just try to stay patient, work with one another and continue to push through.
JAKE MUZZIN (22:19 TOI)
On playing his former team: It was weird. It was weird. A couple of chirps, a couple of laughs, but, at the end, of the day, you’re still trying to do your job and play hard. I don’t know, some funny moments and some serious ones. It was fun.
On if Kopitar told him to go to the penalty box in the second period: Yeah, I was complaining. It was a penalty, though.
On if he had any fun moments during the game with Doughty: He tripped me one time. I tripped him. A couple of subtle jokes back and forth, nothing crazy. I didn’t get him too fired up
. WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On what he liked about the team’s effort: I thought we were patient. We didn’t try to force much. We grinded through the game.
On if it’s good to be able to win a tight game like this: Yeah, of course. When it’s 1-1 going into the third, we’ve got to be able to win those games. We’ve been tied going into a lot of third periods and this was a good start in the right direction
JOHN TAVARES (18:00 TOI)
On how it felt to get back into game action: Not bad. Obviously, probably a little bit of rust and just getting back into the rhythm of things. Overall, I think physically I felt pretty good. Certainly, I can play a lot better, but good to get back in it. It was a tight hockey game and just great we came through at the end. Big couple of goals by [Matthews’] line. On missing an open net in the first period: Obviously, I’d love to have it back. I think I had way more time than I thought and knowing the type of goalie Quick is I got underneath it. It is what it is. You just move on and get ready for the next opportunity. Just glad that at the end of the day the result was still two points.