The story of the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 loss against the New Jersey Devils was Jonathan Quick's play. It's been an abysmal season and recent stretch for Quick, whose gone six starts and 45 days without a win.
The Devil's third goal in particular was soft from Quick and felt like a backbreaker in the second period. The Kings didn't look the same after that goal and it showed on the scoreboard.
The elevated expectation for this team also shined through, as a loss against a good New Jersey team wouldn't have felt so disappointing in recent years.
Hear from Adrian Kempe and Todd McLellan on the loss, and from McLellan on Quick's play.
Kempe on what he takes from that game after having three days off:
It was a little frustrating, I think we played good enough to win for sure. I think we had a lot of chances, we just didn't bury them, and they buried their chances. Other than that, I think we played good enough to win.
Kempe on a different kind of disappointment in this loss:
It was disappointing in a different way. I don't think it was disappointing because we showed up and didn't play good enough, I think it was disappointing that we didn't score on our chances. The power play was good, we didn't get enough five-on-five and that's a different kind of frustration tonight.
Kempe on the third goal being a backbreaker:
A little bit, I feel like all season we've been pretty good at responding even though we give up a goal. We scored two on the power play tonight which is good for the confidence and you get a little frustrated when they score right after. It was an unlucky bounce and we have to learn from that and keep going.
Kempe on if his passing ability is underrated:
I use to be a passer and not more of a shooter, but that's definitely changed in the last few years. I still have that in my game, but definitely, if I have my own chance I just try to bury it myself usually. But when you have good players playing with you sometimes you have to get your head up too.
Kempe on what's going right on his power-play unit:
Yeah, we've been moving the puck well I think, breakouts been good, everyone's playing well it doesn't matter where they end up. I think we're moving and shooting a lot more and I think when we pre-scout the other teams we take the information and apply it well in the game. And tonight, I think we did well, could have had another one too so it's something we can build on.
McLellan on how concerning Quick's game is after six starts and 45 days without a win:
Well, I think we have to look at the goals that were scored. We took a bad penalty for the first one. Pinch, no cover, two-on-one for the second one. The third one, I'm sure he'd like to have back. The fourth one we kicked into our own net, so I don't know how much of it you can put on the goaltender. At the other end of the rink, our power play was effective some of our best chances we didn't make their goaltender work. We were a little too cute maybe with the shot, high and wide, especially in the first and second periods.
McLellan on if the third goal against was deflating:
Yeah, we had gone a spell there where we were giving up stuff real quick. We cleaned that up significantly in my opinion. But with 82 games there are going to be nights where it comes back to haunt you. Tonight was one of them.
McLellan on if this was a "different kind of disappointing" as Kempe put it:
I didn't think we got enough from everybody in the lineup tonight. The fourth line didn't get to play a lot, just the way the game rolled out. But I thought with Phil Danault's line, I didn't think they had their best night. Arvy was coming off being sick, they didn't have a lot of pop in their legs. Usually, they're controlling play so, you end up a little short in those situations and it shows up. But, for Phil's lines, how many times have they played well and carried everybody else? So, on nights when you don't have a couple of guys others have to pick it up. We had three breakaways; JAD (Jaret Anderson-Dolan) had a breakaway, Kevin (Fiala) had a breakaway, he got pulled down and we had a penalty shot. One of them has to go in. So, the offensive part of the game has to be there as well as the defensive part.
McLellan on if he's expecting Danault's line to bounce back next game:
Oh yeah, Arvy was sicker than a dog for the last few days, he didn't have a lot of energy. Don't get me wrong, they weren't horrendous, they checked fairly well, they didn't give up much. But, the pop they normally have and the plays going around the boards wasn't quite as effective as normal.