There’s a reason why the expression ‘scoreboard’ is often used among sports fans wanting to talk smack – because it never lies and usually trumps all other arguments, at least when speaking about a specific game.
The Kings should be able to score at least one goal when they spend 13:36 on the power play in a game against the NHL’s 29th ranked penalty kill. They didn’t today and the lost to the last place Columbus Blue Jackets. A team who entered the day with only ten wins – the fewest in the league.
Columbus picked up a lone goal from defenseman Grant Clitsome and made it stand up, giving them their first shutout of the season. After the final buzzer cleared the ice, here’s what they were saying back in the locker room…
Coach Scott Arneil on the overall game – “I think certainly Curtis [Sanford] was certainly the big story there. He played outstanding, made the big saves. But I have got to give a lot of credit to our team. We blocked a lot of shots. Penalty kill did an outstanding job. They [the Kings] did get shots but we really took away any of the backdoor, tap-in type of things. If there were rebounds we cleared them out of there. Our shot blocking [today] was one of the best I’ve seen it this year.”
Arneil on the Jackets’ third period penalty kill – “It was such a big lift after the kill. It really gave us a boost…The guys were really doing a great job pushing each other after that kill…You could tell guys were really getting into the game.”
Arneil with more on blocking shots during the penalty kill – “LA’s a great penalty kill team and they do a pretty job blocking shots. If you look around the league, it’s what it takes to win in this league. It hurts when it happens, but it sure feels better when you win the hockey game.”
Arneil on his team’s defensive effort – “We didn’t give up a lot of quality or rush chances. Obviously, five-on-four they’re going to get some opportunities that way. But, I thought we did a real good job of keeping their top players in check. Our goaltending was certainly very good when it needed to be.”
Goalie Curtis Sanford on the Kings starting the third period with a power play – “Oh, they were coming. It’s hard when you start the period on the PK for four minutes, you’re on your heals already. So, then to reestablish and get back on your toes after they have some momentum from being on the power play, it’s tough. We stuck with it thought and did what we had to do. We blocked the shots when we had to. And we got the penalty kills when we had to.”
Forward RJ Umberger on the overall game – “It was great [today] to get that close win. The penalty kill stepped up in the third and it’s nice to come on the other end of one of these close games.”
Umberger on penalties in the game – “It was a little sloppy. I don’t know if it had something to do with the 1 o’clock start. Both teams were in the box quite a lot. Our special teams did a good job today and the penalty kill has been working hard lately and we finally had a game where we won one for our team.”
Umberger on the road trip – “Keep working here. Keep trying to build something. We have a chance on this road trip to come away with a winning record still so we want go into Anaheim, a team that’s been struggling too, and we have a chance to catch them in the standings so let’s do that.”
To read reaction from the Kings’ Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, click here.