Notes and quotes from the Kings' 4-3 victory over Colorado
Notes, quotes and statistics from the Kings' 4-3 victory over Colorado on Saturday. Thanks, as always, to Kings PR whiz Jeremy Zager, whose Grandma Schwartz has yet to come to a game this season. C'mon, grandma!
Coach Terry Murray
On the game: "We made it interesting at the end just through getting too casual, a little careless with some plays at critical times at the game. You go into the third period with that kind of scenario, you want to make sure you're able to lock it down. Good teams do. You don't get reckless or careless and start taking some penalties, especially the high-sticking penalties. ... We have to clean that part of it up right away."
About losing Marco Sturm on waivers: "I found out at about 9:15 this morning. ... I had been thinking about it [not starting Sturm] through yesterday, watching Colorado play the last couple games with their lineup, I certainly had [enforcer Kevin] Westgarth on notice. ... The player that was going to be out would have been Sturm."
About Monday's trade deadline and possible changes: "There have been zero conversations with [General Manager Dean Lombardi] and I about any player that's out there. ... I like our team. I like the way it is right now. We've got a great chemistry, and that's so important, to have that chemistry. You can put a lot of different people into the dressing room and if it doesn't work, boy, you're very frustrated as an organization. ... We've got a good group of guys that play hard for each other."
On the game: "Obviously pretty happy with the game we played today. We dominated pretty much the whole thing, but obviously not happy with our lapse at the end there. Good teams shut things down and we didn't do that today, but we can in the future."
About Colorado's three-goal third period: "We definitely can't be taking penalties that late in the game. You see what happens -- they almost caught up and took it to OT, and that's not something we want to be doing. We've got to learn from it, but [we're] happy with the game."
About his goal: "Everyone was down low. [Anze Kopitar] made a great bank pass to me and from there I just had to take the one-timer and get it on net. It wasn’t a perfect shot or anything, but it squeaked through and went in."
Kings center Anze Kopitar
On the game: "It's tough ... you try to put them on their heels as much as you can. They're a speedy team. Sometimes it's tough, but they were playing physical, we answered right back, so that was a good thing to see."
On having scored a goal in three straight games: "I've been cold for too long before, so it's nice to get a couple goals here and hopefully I can continue producing like that."
On Sturm being picked up by Washington: "It's tough. It's one of those things where Marco wasn't here for a long time, but he got along with everybody in such a short time so it's tough to see him go. But at the end of the day, it's a business and you've got to do what you're told and he got picked up and there's not a lot we can do about it."
Colorado Coach Joe Sacco
On the game: "Penalties didn't help our cause. We're taking penalties because we're making some mental errors. We made it close and we hung around and stuck it out till the end, but we need to be better than that. We have to start games better to put ourselves in a position so that we're able to stay in the game for 60 minutes. Today we got behind and we started chasing the game after that."
"The team that wakes up first and is ready to go first is going to give themselves the best chance to win. We just need to be better, there's no question. We can't start games like that; it's tough to play catch-up in this league.”
"Anytime you have new players it takes a while to build chemistry, but that's not why we're at where we're at. These guys have been nice additions to our team and they're only going to get better as we move along. I'm excited to have these two players here and I think they're going to make us a better team when it comes down to it."
Colorado goalie Brian Elliott
On the game: "You never want to let in any goals, obviously, but we took a few too many penalties. You've just got to try to see as much as you can. We did a good job coming back. We got to focus on that and know that we can score and have confidence that we can do it. We need to be a unit of five out there and I think we'll have success."
"It's a good group of guys, young guys, and I think it's a good fit so far. We're struggling right now and it's tough to hang in there when we're struggling, but we just need to have a good attitude, come to the rink with a smile on our face and know that every day is a new day and know that we can do whatever we want with it."
Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles
On the game: "We just didn't play. Obviously they're a talented team, a big team, and they took it to us in our end for quite a bit of time. It's not so much about making plays but about getting it in, getting the forecheck and when you do that, when we have our legs going, that's when we're effective. We most definitely weren't effective in the first two periods."
"This time of year is always tough. When we're in a rut like this I think that anything can happen and that's the nature of this business. I've said lots of times that it's a performance-driven business. When a team isn't performing, you search for answers and it's the unfortunate part because you never want to see teammates go anywhere or friends go anywhere. What can I say? We're not performing to where we need to be. That’s the bottom line."
* The Kings are 11-1-3 in their last 15 games.
* The Kings have won four straight games at home.
* The Kings are 19-0-0 when leading after two periods and 16-8-4 in one-goal games.
* The Kings have 39 points at home (19-9-1), tying a club record for most points after 29 home games (1974-75 club was 16-6-7, 2005-06 club was 19-9-1).
* Kopitar has 20 goals in each of his first five NHL seasons. The last King to do that was Luc Robitaille, who scored 20-plus goals his first eight seasons (1986-87 through 1993-94).
* Kopitar has 10 points in the last eight games (four goals, six assists).
* Doughty has six goals in the last 11 games.
* Ryan Smyth recorded his 400th NHL assist.
* Brad Richardson played in his 300th game.
* The Kings tied a season high with two power-play goals and nine power-play attempts.
* The Kings took a season-high 42 shots.
* The Kings have beaten Colorado four straight times and are 7-0-1 in their last eight against the Avalanche.
KINGS' PRACTICE SCHEDULE SUNDAY
11:30 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) celebrates with defensemen Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson (3) after Doughty scored in the second period Saturday against the Avalanche. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images