Former Kings prospect Jeff Zatkoff on beating LA

Former Kings goaltending prospect Jeff Zatkoff had the following to share after he and the Penguins defeated the Kings in Los Angeles on Thursday night…

On if playing against the Kings was special:

“I think so. I think anytime you’re able to play against your old team. I know I’ve never played any regular season games but I spent a lot of time in this organization. They’re a big part of the reason why I’m here today with this organization. They put me in opportunities to succeed in Manch and gave me two of the best goalie coaches in the game with Bill Ranford and Kim Dillabaugh, that I was able to work with for five, six years. I owe a lot to them, but things didn’t work out here and I got a fresh start in Pittsburgh. To be able to come back…I’ve been really fortunate to have a great goalie coach here now in Mike Bales. So I think I’m three for three on goalie coaches. This one means a little extra something just playing against some of the guys, you know?”

On playing in front of his mom:

“Yeah, I think that’s for not just myself, but that’s for everyone. We wanted to play well for them and need an excuse to do it again next time. Got the first one out of the way, still have one more to go in Phoenix. But it was nice, just a real complete game from start to finish. Really shut down their odd man rushes, blocked a lot of shots, and did a great job just controlling the game.”

On his saves in the third period:

“We knew they were going to push. I think when you have a three goal cushion, they probably weren’t happy with where they were sitting after two, so it’s something you kind of expect. Just have to be ready for it, try to make that save at the right time to keep the momentum going your way and prevent them from kind of drawing closer in the game.”

On being roommates with Martin Jones:

“I was his first year we roomed together. Jonesie and I played together two years, three years. So, good friend of mine. Texted him yesterday, obviously so happy for him. He’s a great goalie, I thought he deserved to be here right from the start. It’s nice to see him get that opportunity and make the most of it and really show his potential and really how good he is.”

On if he had any butterflies and if he enjoyed his pregame nap:

“Well the nap wasn’t that hard just because of the time change, so I was pretty tired. Found out yesterday after practice, was excited obviously. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it or not- just not a back-to-back and kind of some time off between our last game. It was nice that coach gave this one to me and showed trust in me. Little more butterflies at the start, I think, just because you want to play well. But once the game started, everything settled in and we had such a good first. Getting three goals in the first always helps.”

On his save on Justin William’s shot early in the third period:

“I know I’ve watched a lot of Kings games in my days and I know he has a great shot and likes to go upstairs. So, I just tried to come out and take away the angle. I was able to read that he was going to go shot pretty early, and I just kind of got a good jump on it and fortunately was able to make the save.”

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