GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2 POSTGAME QUOTES: “The streak doesn’t really look too pretty, but I thought we made some steps in the right direction today. I definitely think we came ready to play and obviously a great hockey game, too. Fleury played really well down there and I think it could have gone either way. I thought we definitely had something to build on.”–FREDERIK ANDERSEN.

HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On tonight’s game:
I thought we played a good first, I thought we didn’t win any faceoffs in the second and spent more time in the D-zone. We had lots of chances. I was in here the other night and Fleury was real good the other night. I thought he was real good. We had some chances, hit some posts. I think Petan — I could be wrong, I haven’t seen the replay — I thought the net was empty there and Fleury made a great save. The bottom line is we’ve got to stick with it and just keep grinding. We had a chance on the power play at the end there and we didn’t execute on that. It’s disappointing but I’m always about the process and how hard guys play. We played way harder so I thought that was good. I thought Hyman was back, I thought Mikheyev really had a good step. That was positive for us.

On what needs to be changed on the penalty kill:
We’ve got to keep it out. I didn’t think we were that bad tonight on it, to tell you the truth, but they got two on it so that’s not good enough. We’ve just got to keep working at it, we’ll spend more time at it. Maybe early in the year when we didn’t skate as much in the pregame skates, we should have spent more time doing it. We did that because we were trying to keep our guys fresher and the science part of it, but, in the end, you’ve got to execute on those things so that’s on me.

On how deflating it is to give up a goal immediately after tying the game:
It’s disappointing, obviously. We turned the puck over and they came in and shot it in. I still thought we were resilient. We talked about it before the game, we have to show good mental toughness and just keep grinding every shift, shift after shift, whether it goes good or bad. We’ve been guilty of when it goes bad, when they score, we wilt. There’s no sense doing that, just keep playing. I’ve been around a long time, you’re in lots of situations where you don’t win for a while and you end up having a real good year. Just keep grinding.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (33 SAVES)

On the team’s play tonight:
The streak doesn’t really look too pretty, but I thought we made some steps in the right direction today. I definitely think we came ready to play and obviously a great hockey game, too. Fleury played really well down there and I think it could have gone either way. I thought we definitely had something to build on.

On how the team is processing the current stretch:
We had a good talk yesterday to try and improve and I thought we answered pretty well today. It could have gone either way, I think. I got outplayed a little bit by Fleury down there. That happens. Again, I thought we had some good things to keep going.

ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s game:
I think there’s a lot of positives to take away from today. I think when you’re losing, it’s hard to stay the course but I think we played really well today. We had our chances when the game was on the line there. It was a tight game; we just couldn’t finish it. We need to be better on the PK, better on special teams there. It was good to get a powerplay goal. I think we took a big step today even though we lost. The next game is going to be really important for us but I think that we can build some confidence from this game moving forward.

On what the team can take away from tonight’s game:
I think we didn’t quit. I think that we stuck with it. You go down 3-1, you can kind of pack it in, but I think we were strong throughout that third period and really pushed back. Fleury made a big save on [Petan] there, [Mikheyev] hit the crossbar. These aren’t excuses, this is just reality. They won the game but I think that we had a chance to win that game, we were in the game the whole way through and we didn’t quit so I think that’s really important and something to build off of moving forward.

JASON SPEZZA (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On if the team can take some positives out of tonight’s loss:
Yeah, definitely a much better effort. It was good hockey game. We lost the special teams battle and that ends up being the game. It’s something to build off of but it’s frustrating. We need to get a win here; it doesn’t matter how it is. If it’s ugly, we’ve got to find a way to get a win.

On what the team needs to do moving forward:
Just work. We can’t take a step back. We laid an egg of a game in Pittsburgh. A better effort tonight, but when you go through these losing streaks, it always seems like it’s harder to dig yourselves out of it, just like when you’re winning it’s easy to keep winning. We can’t take a step back next game. We’ve got to watch the tape and see what we can do better and keep moving forward.

JOHN TAVARES (20:05 TOI)

On tonight’s game:
I thought we were right there. We had a great opportunity in the third and we just didn’t maximize it so we’ve just got to regroup and find a way to get it done.

On his third period hooking penalty:
Yeah, I just got caught trying to lift his stick. Obviously, I’ve just got to try to be smarter and not get my stick caught up.

On Marc-Andre Fleury’s save late in the third period:
It was obviously a great save and a great opportunity. We had some really good looks in the third and we’ve got to find a way to put those in. Give him credit, he made it tough and made some good saves.

On the team’s mindset at the moment:
We want the results. We just want different results. We want to win. It’s obviously frustrating when you’re not getting them and I think we’ve talked about resolve and resiliency and trying to stay with it. It’s all we can do is continue to move forward and find ways to get better and get the job done when we have opportunities like this.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (37 saves) “It definitely felt like the puck was following me a little bit around so it’s a good feeling. There’s different nights where the puck seems to bounce your way and it felt good.”

HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On the team improvising on the power play leading to Matthews’ goal:

Well, he just shot it. Obviously, we had some real good looks, we had some real good power plays, but didn’t score. Then, we had a couple that were hard to watch. If you look at both teams, the penalty killing was really good for both teams. They didn’t get much done on ours, we didn’t get much done on theirs. In the end, we were fortunate to win the special teams battle tonight and win. For us, an important shot obviously. We were able to tie it, Freddie made some big saves for us. It was good.

On if this game was beautiful like the LA game:

What I would say is the game is way higher end. Obviously, they’re a real good team. They’re heavy, they’re fast and they’ve got a great top six, I liked their back-end tonight, I thought Subban played well. I thought it was a good game. I thought we were better in the first, I thought they were better in the second and I didn’t think there was much to pick between the teams in the third.

On the too many men penalty at the end of the third:

We had a guy on the ice and the other guy wasn’t off. Now, that’ll be our third one. The one was just at the end of the game the one night there just for padding the penalty kill stats, but this one tonight could have been a big deal. A guy going on can’t go on before the other guy. It’s just simple. We didn’t touch the puck or anything, I haven’t seen any overhead or anything to see whether it was or wasn’t. I’m sure it was.

On Andersen’s recent play:

I think we’re 4-1-1 in our last six. Is that right? So, he’s been playing and he’s been gotten better just like each year. He kind of gets through October and seems to kick it into gear and gets feeling good. He’s an important player for us, a good leader for us. We need him to make big saves.

On he sees the team loosening up:

That’s what we said before the power play there, ‘Come on, lighten up here fellas. Let’s just go out there and breathe a little bit and do what we’re supposed to do.’ You know, I think the biggest thing is we’re getting to know each other. I’ve said this a number of times, I don’t know if anyone believes it. It’s easier to play with people you know and over a period of time you get to know each other. I think this road trip we have coming up will be real good for us as well. It appears that the guys are starting to have more fun, interacting more. I see more abuse, which is — I think that’s a great thing, once you have fun having fun together. That’s once you get to know each other.

On if Hyman will return this weekend:

I don’t think Zach is coming until next week. I don’t know all the details, but he’ll give me a heads up. I don’t think he’s around until next week and I don’t know why.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (37 SAVES)

On a strong performance in goal:

It definitely felt like the puck was following me a little bit around so it’s a good feeling. There’s different nights where the puck seems to bounce your way and it felt good.

On his save in overtime and Rielly’s blocked shot:

Yeah, [Rielly] blocked a shot and obviously, it hit a tough spot and bounced right back to [Marchessault]. I just tried to stay with it and tried to make the save.

On the important of the penalty kill when the power play is struggling.

I think penalty killers just focus on what they can control and just try to eliminate their scoring chances when we take a penalty. Obviously, we just keep believing that we’re going to find one eventually and we did. Huge goal by [Matthews] and unbelievable shot.

MITCH MARNER (1 ASSIST)

On a big penalty kill in overtime to give the team a chance to win it:

Yeah, it was nice finally getting some 3-on-3 time in there but, I mean, something we’ve always talked about is staying out of the box, we’ve got to do a better job of that. It’s hard to get even-strength going, but I thought our team stayed patient with it. It’s a big win.

On if team was getting frustrated on the power play:

No, I think you saw we went through a little drought there. It was tough throughout the middle but I thought we were getting our entries there well and that’s a big goal there by [Matthews].  I think that was our last power play we had and we needed a goal and we did it.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s win:

Yeah, I think in the first period we played well, the second I think they kind of ran that and the third was a toss-up. So, obviously, some big saves from Freddie there, probably by far our best player on the ice tonight. He just kept us in it with the penalty kill obviously at the end of the game. So, just stuck with it. Like you said just stayed patient and a big two points.

On the power play changing its look ahead of his goal:

I thought as we went along through the first two periods, we were a bit stagnant. In the third, we pretty much said, ‘what do you have to lose?’ Let’s move around, let’s get the penalty kill thinking more. I thought we did a really good job of that with different guys going to different areas and reacting, playing off our instincts. Not just drawn up plays, but reacting off one another, using each other and making plays. We spread them out a little bit and were able to score.

JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On tonight’s overtime winner:

I think Mitch [Marner] did a great job reading their entry and causing a turnover and as soon as I read what he was seeing got good anticipation that he was going to be able to get the puck. After that I’m just trying to get available and make the lane as easy as I can if he wants to move it over and that’s what he does best. So, just tried to reward a good play that he made.

On the mindset when the team goes to the power play

Just that we’ve got another opportunity and we’re down a goal so we want to make the most of it. Whatever has happened up until that point, we’ve got an opportunity then and now to give ourselves a chance to get back in the game. Obviously, at times I think our execution wasn’t great but I think we also had a lot of looks on net, we put a lot of pucks there and sometimes it’s just getting those second and third opportunities. I think on that last power play that was what happened. We got some pucks to the net, got some looks and we kept retrieving them, retrieving them and finally were able to wear them down. You get [Matthews] inside the dots and there is no better shooter you want in that spot.

JOHN TAVARES: “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.”

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.