Notes, quotes and stats from the Kings' 4-3 loss to Chicago at Staples Center. Thanks, as always, to PR whiz Jeremy Zager and his staff. His Grandma Schwartz is right to be proud of him.
Kings Coach Terry Murray
On the game: "I felt the start of the game was excellent. Everything we wanted to do with the intensity, knowing they were a team that played [Sunday] and had a lot of offensive zone time.”
“Second period we were fine for the first four or five minutes and then the intensity changed, the tempo changed and we got ourselves in trouble. We stopped managing the puck the right way. We forgot about the details of the game. We were not bumping people away. We were in the first period and they got their legs. They started to skate and came at us.”
On the Blackhawks' fourth goal: “That’s bad luck. That comes off the boards or off the glass, almost went off [Jonathan] Quick’s head I think when it came over the top of the crossbar. That’s bad luck, but I guess when you’re the Stanley Cup champion you probably get breaks, you probably get lucky bounces like that. I really felt that we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation.”
Kings center Jarret Stoll
On the game: “I think we started off all right. Through the first period we were pretty solid in our game plan, getting pucks deep, getting on their D, getting chances and scoring opportunities…. In the second they got their legs and started playing their game a little bit. Just a lucky bounce for the winning goal but we have to play a lot better down the stretch.”
“We played them well. The two games in their building we played very well, and lost. 0-4 against them is not a stat we’re proud of, but we have to work on our game and get it to where it needs to be for the final half of the season to get into the playoffs and go deep. We have to figure that out.”
Kings winger Brad Richardson:
On the game: “That’s been our problem the last four games. We play one or two periods very well, and we play one period not so great, and that’s where we lose the game.”
On playing on the first line: “It was just for the third but it didn’t work so great obviously since we didn’t win. Once in a while I get moved around and I try to get the most of it, but it just didn’t work out tonight.”
On the schedule: “Everyone has back-to-back games, everyone has a tough schedule. That’s the NHL, that’s what you have to deal with, but we’re not using that as an excuse at all.”
On being 0-4 against Chicago this season: “They’re a good team, but we think in a couple of the other games we outplayed them, but they won. Tonight we liked one and a half periods, we played pretty well but that’s not going to cut it.”
Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville
On the game: "[Jonathan] Toews had a gigantic effort tonight. [Patrick] Sharp had some huge goals for us. [Corey] Crawford made a huge save early in the game and at the end. He was crucial in us coming up with two points.”
“Necessary win, huge win for us. Now it’s forward onto the next half of the season."
"It was a little chaotic during the third. We’ve got to have more composure, that’s one thing we need to take from this game.”
“The importance of today’s game for us was huge. Our concern wasn’t the past few games. We did some good things. Out power play is what got us into the game tonight and was a large part of it as well.”
Chicago center Jonathan Toews
On the game: "We’ll take a win anyway we can. We did some good things. Another slow start, we came out in a pretty good spot in the first period. Power play kept us in the game and Crawford was good.”
“We’ll take two points where we can. I think it's games like this where you come out on top, you still got to look at the mistakes you made and try to get better at those things.”
“Tonight was a good game to get out of our three-game rut. We got a busy week at home and hopefully we can take advantage of it.”
“Kings are a talented team and they’re a smart, well-coached team too. I think we played smart for the most part but there were some mistakes and giveaways where we gave them some unearned scoring chances. We’ve got to be smarter and I think we’ll be more comfortable going into third periods.”
Chicago forward Patrick Sharp
On the game: “Jonathan [Toews] is our captain, he’s our leader out there. He does a lot of things that aren’t noticed on the score sheet. It’s nice to have him back in the lineup and it’s nice to be healthy as a unit.”
“I’m happier that we broke this losing streak, we won a game, and we’re healthy in here and ready to start over again.”
“We’re finding ways to play the game. It was a pretty ugly 40 minutes and our power play kept us in it. We got better down the stretch. There were a lot of individual battles. Our competition level felt higher tonight. A win is a win and we’ll take it.”
“We got a good unit, pucks are going in. Who knows what’s going to happen in the next 41, but so far, so good.”
-- Ryan Smyth (two goals) has five goals in the last four games.
-- Jack Johnson (two assists) has nine points in his last eight games (2-7=9) and 13 points in the last 14 games (3-10=13).
-- Anze Kopitar has eight points in his last six games (1-7=8) and 21 points in the last 16 games (7-14=21).
-- The Kings have scored 42 goals in the last 12 games, an average of 3.5 per game.
-- The Kings have a power-play goal in 11 of the last 14 games (11 for 41 in the last 12 games = 26.8%).
-- Kopitar now has 199 career NHL assists.
-- Justin Williams played in his 100th game as a King tonight.
-- Team Canada advanced to the World Junior Championships gold medal game, beating Team USA, 4-1, in Monday's semifinal. Kings prospect Brayden Schenn (Canada) didn’t record a point. Kings prospect Derek Forbort (USA) didn’t record a point. Canada will play Russia in the gold-medal game Wednesday. Kings prospect Maxim Kitsyn had an assist in Russia’s 4-3 win over Sweden in the other semifinal matchup. Team USA will play Sweden for the bronze medal Wednesday.
The Kings will be off Tuesday and will practice Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Kings' center Jarret Stoll covers the goal during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 3. Credit: Kelvin Kuo / U.S. Presswire.