Notes and quotes after the Kings' 4-1 victory
More on the Kings' 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday at Staples Center, courtesy of the tireless Jeremy Zager of the Kings' communications and broadcasting department and his game-night staff of millions (well, maybe a dozen):
Coach Terry Murray:
“There’s a great deal of importance to the game. Anytime you lose in a playoff series like we did last year, there’s checkmarks on the schedule and those are the games you really want to come back and give solid efforts in.”
“Good tight checking, good solid responsible game in the first period.”
“It was nice to respond the right way to the Vancouver goal [which cut the Kings' lead to 2-1]. I think we’ve shown pretty good composure. Last year, when you look back at the stats, we’ve never lost a game after leading after the second period. We were able to shut games down and do a pretty responsible job with good composure.”
“The [Jarret] Stoll line was maybe our better line out there tonight. They were really pursuing the puck with good pressure, had a lot of composure, making plays, made good decision through the center of the ice and ended up scoring.”
* Tonight was the first time this season the Kings scored first. They were 34-7-5 when scoring first last season.
* Ryan Smyth has five points in the last two games (2+3=5).
* Jake Muzzin earned his first NHL point, assisting on Justin Williams’ goal in the second period.
* The Kings have allowed only six goals in four games this season and only three goals five-on-five.
* Jonathan Quick has stopped 79 of 82 shots in three games this season (.963 save percentage).
* The Kings have killed 18 of 20 penalties this season (90%). One of those power-play goals allowed was scored into an empty net.
* The Kings have killed 10 straight penalties.
* The Kings started last season 3-1 as well ... and went on to tie a team record with 46 wins.
* Drew Doughty had a game-high six hits.
* Alexei Ponikarovsky earned his first point as a King, assisting on Dustin Brown’s second goal of the game.
Anze Kopitar: "We proved that we can play a pretty physical game, a good checking game too. It’s not easy to play against a team twice, so I think Zeus [Michal Handzus] did a good job to shut them down. They scored a goal, but they have great players that are going to make great plays and sometimes it results into a goal, but I think overall we had a great game.”
Regarding his assist on the goal by Brown that gave the Kings a 3-1 lead:
"It’s one of those things where I played with Brownie for a bit, and Brownie played with me for a bit, so I knew Brownie was going to go to the post there and I guess Brownie knew I was going to slide it over. It’s one of those things where I’d probably make that play nine out of 10 times so I figure it was one of those tonight.”
Brown: “Going through a season there is definitely ups and downs. If we can consistently work hard over time then things are going to happen for you.”
Regarding whether winning this game gave the Kings revenge for having lost to Vancouver in the playoffs last spring:
"I don’t know if it’s revenge, I think the rivalry has increased with intensity. I think right now we’re not really worried about what happened last year, we’re worried about what we’re going for ahead. We play them two more times so I think what happens out there as the real result of last year is that the intensity is pretty high.”
Vancouver Coach Alain Vigneault:
On if he thought his team had enough scoring chances: “It was a hard-fought game, two teams battling really hard. Not a lot of room out there. We didn’t give them much [and] they didn’t give us much. They got a couple of bounces on their first two goals …
"We just have to stick with the process. We’ve got some good players, they’re hard workers, prepare themselves well, and they’re good people. We’re going to find a way here to get back on track.”
Vancouver forward Henrik Sedin:
On having trouble scoring: “I thought we played a good game again, but we have got to find a way to score goals. It’s tough when you feel like you’re playing good and you’re not getting goals on those chances you’re creating. It’s a mix of working harder and bearing down a little more.”
On if the team is over-thinking right now: “Overall I think we’ve been playing good. It’s just when we get the chances is when we’re overdoing stuff. I think it’s easier when you’re not scoring goals, it’s easier just trying to get pucks to the net … [we need to] try to be more selfish and get goals that way.”
Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo:
"It was one of those games where I wasn’t getting much action, and when I was it felt like they were scoring chances or a puck was hitting something. What are you going to do? You just have to stay focused.”
“Obviously it’s disappointing that we lost, but the season is young. We’ve got to make sure we start doing the little things right. The goals are not coming right now, so we have to focus a bit more on cleaning up our game and making sure that, as we say, we grind them out.”
The Kings have Saturday off. Their next practice will be Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
-- Helene Elliott