Comments from Kings center Jeff Carter and defenseman Drew Doughty following the team’s 4-3 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night…
Q. How much fun has it been playing with those guys?
CARTER: It’s been great. Obviously they have a lot of chemistry from playing together in Manchester. They’re working and they’re having fun. They use their speed and their skill to create opportunities. Kind of dragging me along with them, so it’s been good.
Q. (Question regarding Toffoli goal.)
CARTER: I didn’t see anything. Was behind me. Just kind of went to him.
Q. Jeff, how did you choose your number, your jersey number?
CARTER: 7 was taken so I doubled it up.
Q. Can you talk about obviously you’re up 2-1, they’re the defending Stanley Cup champions. Talk about the importance of taking the lead?
DOUGHTY: Yeah, it was an important game. We came back here. We stole one in their barn. We knew we needed to get up early. This is a good team. Tough to come back when we’re down. We don’t want to be put in those positions. We had a great effort. We were determined to come back. When you go into a third, the game was ours for the taking. We just had to, you know, continue to push forward and not sit back.
CARTER: Obviously a big game. You want to win ’em all. I think we kind of rode the momentum from Game 2 in Chicago. Guys did a good job.
Q. Drew, how do you shut down Toews?
DOUGHTY: He’s obviously a great player, a great leader for their team. There’s just times when he takes over games. We knew kind of in the first period after he got those two goals he was putting it on himself to take over the rest of the game. It was definitely a focus in between periods to step up our game on him, try to get physical with him, take his space away. I thought everyone, forwards and D, did a good job on him from there on out.
Q. (Question about the mental approach to the playoffs.)
CARTER: You don’t have to do much to get them to relax. They’re pretty easy-going guys. Tyler was a big part of our team last year in the playoffs, especially when Mike went out. He really stepped up. Tanner was around all playoffs. He’s kind of been through it, seen it. Those guys have played in big games before. Working their way up through junior and whatnot. They’re great players. Great players shine at big times.
Q. What did Darryl say to you guys after the first period? Can you tell us anything about that?
Q. Drew, how important was it to respond to their shorthanded goal with a power play goal? Can you describe the feeling of a power play goal?
DOUGHTY: It was kind of an unfortunate bounce, how he turned it over, stuff like that. It’s kind of a dagger when you’re out there on the power play, extra man, they get a shorthanded one. It hurts a little bit. To have the character to come back and capitalize still on that same power play, that just shifted the momentum right back on our side. Power play goals are huge. Special teams, you don’t get many in the playoffs. They call it pretty tight. I thought the power play stepped up tonight. The PK was great as well.
Q. Talk about Willie’s return to the lineup.
CARTER: He’s been great. He’s been around a long time. He’s one of those guys that does it all for us back there. He’s obviously huge on the penalty kill. You know, he just brings kind of a calming presence back there. Drew would kind of know that a little more. He brings it. So glad to have him back.
Q. Jeff, talking to Dustin Brown about that line, he wasn’t surprised about you, he was surprised about the youngsters. Talk about the chemistry between the three of you.
CARTER: They’re stepping up. I don’t think we’re really doing anything that they wouldn’t do. They use their speed. They keep the puck going ahead. Obviously when they get chances, they got as much skill as anybody on the team. They’ve been showing it.
Q. The composure you have shown during the course of games during the playoffs, is there one thing you credit that to?
DOUGHTY: I just think, you know, our leaders, they’re the ones that lead the way. They start having that composure. When they’re showing that, I think the younger guys just kind of do the same thing. They see the guys that have been successful in this league so far, they see the things they’re doing, they just try to do the exact same things. Obviously Darryl, you know, he’s not going to let us step off the gas pedal at any time. He’s going to be hard on us no matter what the score is. Yeah, we just got to play 60 minutes, and that’s it.
Q. Both of you won an Olympic medal with Jonathan Toews. What impresses you about him?
CARTER: He’s a total package. He’s obviously the heart and soul of their team. He leads them and they follow. He plays a solid 200-foot game. Arguably one of the best in the game. He’s a real key for us. We got to shut him down.
Q. How important has it been to be physical with their defensemen?
CARTER: It’s big. It’s big. They’re obviously a pretty mobile group back there. They like to get pucks up and join the rush. I think if we’re not finishing our checks, playing hard on them, they’re going to create offense. It’s a huge part of the series for us.
Q. Down in Chicago, now two wins away from the Stanley Cup, what does that say about this team?
DOUGHTY: We’re here for a reason. We’re not here to win a few games. Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Obviously got a lot of obstacles before that can happen. This is our toughest one yet. Chicago is a good team. We know they’re not going to go away easy. We’re only up 2-1. A lot of work left to do. Looking forward to it. Can’t wait for Game 4.
Q. You out-shot them 18 to 7 in the third period. What are you doing specifically to finish out the game so strong?
CARTER: I think that comes from the guys in our room. We have a lot of character guys, played in a lot of big games, know how to win. We play a strong defensive game. I think that’s really where a lot of our offense and all that comes from. We lock it down. For some reason we give up a chance, Quicky is always there to bail us out.
Q. Sharp and Kane hasn’t been a factor all series. What is the secret to that?
DOUGHTY: Trying to frustrate them, give them no room, play them physical. We know that Kane likes to pick up the puck, kind of be fancy, have a lot of room, gain speed that way. So we’re just trying to limit the ice for him. Play him hard. Same thing with Sharp. We have to play those guys hard. Even though they haven’t done much lately, we know they’re going to have their best game in Game 4. We got to be prepared for that.
Q. Because of your goalie Quick, do you feel no matter who you’re playing you have an edge?
CARTER: Yeah, we’re a confident team with him back there obviously. I think anybody that watches the game knows what he brings to our team. Like I said, if we have breakdowns or whatnot, we always know he’s there to back us up. That’s a pretty good feeling.
Q. How do you explain the floodgates opening on the scoring lately?
CARTER: We’ve been doing the things that we need to: using our speed, getting our pucks behind their D. When we’re physical on their D, we create turnovers. We’ve been bearing down on our chances. That’s what we need to do.
Q. Jeff, you talked about the skill of Tyler and Tanner. They’re strong players along the board. How much of a luxury is it to have guys that can generate possessions and also make them count?
CARTER: It’s great. A lot of the goals that we’ve scored have come from them using their speed, tracking down loose pucks, creating turnovers. As soon as they do that, their instinct is to get the puck right to the net. It’s been working for us.
Q. Your teammates have said you can never get comfortable against their team. How do you balance being comfortable and being confident as you move ahead in the series?
CARTER: Well, never too high, never too low I think is kind of how we go. We know who we’re playing. We know what they got over there and the success that they’ve had the last few years. We’re up 2-1, but we got a long ways to go here. We need to bear down. We need to be better, too.
Post-game comments from Chicago’s coach Joel Quenneville can be read here.
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