Quotes from Anze Kopitar following the Kings opening night loss to the Minnesota Wild, 4-3 in OT…
On the overall game
We still made some good plays, some good stuff was happening throughout the game. [We] got to build on those and certainly clean up the stuff that happened in the third period.
On the offensive strategy coming into the game
Starting the game, we didn’t put as many pucks on the net, maybe we were trying to get a little bit too cute. After that, we addressed it and were trying to get a little bit more rubber towards the net, and then that’s where the guys went and we were able to score some goals.
On Jeff Carter’s goal
He’s obviously a utility guy for us, put him in pretty much every situation that you can possibly put him in and he’ll deliver. That was nice, especially for him. He was out longer than 10 months, so [I’m] sure he felt good and it was good for him to get on the board too.
On the faceoff play that led to Carter’s goal
We had a different faceoff play drawn up, but then it was just the circumstances. I knew we didn’t have too much time, so I figured I’d throw it on net. I did tell [Carter] to go to the front somewhat and see if something happens. It turned out pretty well.
On the importance of the Carter goal to build momentum
Even the first period, it wasn’t all that bad. We gave up a goal, but the puck possession game was there, we just didn’t put enough pucks to the net. I think tying it up late in the period secured momentum into the second. I thought the second period was the best one today, but there’s stuff that we need to address, what happened in the third, and clean it up.
On improved teamwork and chemistry this season
I thought the chemistry was there throughout camp too. I think we gelled pretty well together. Last year, we took strides in the right direction and now we were trying to upgrade that and keep on playing hard through each other and hopefully win as many games as we can.
On the differences between the first two periods and the third
Pulling back a little bit too much. The desperation kicked him for them and we didn’t play particularly well in our own zone and didn’t make hard enough plays to get pucks out of the zone and into their zone to establish the forecheck, create some of our momentum, and it came back to bite us.
On the puck movement on the second powerplay
I think early on, special teams, throughout the season, special teams are very crucial and especially early on because maybe there’s more [penalties] being called early. I thought our special teams were good. We scored a powerplay goal and our penalty kills was pretty on point. We want to build off of that and keep on going, keep on moving the puck on the powerplay, and get as many on the board as you can.
On how he feels after playing 23+ minutes today, without any exhibition games
Felt good. Even throughout camp, I was feeling pretty good. I was playing quite a bit in that scrimmage too, just to kind of get ready for the minutes. I feel good. I feel ready.
On a change in mindset playing the same team in two nights
We haven’t been in this situation before, minus the playoffs, which is a little bit different. This one’s gonna sting a little bit. I think we gave it away in the third. I mean, credit to them. They made some good plays, but we should be able to lock that down going into the third. That can’t happen too many more times going forward.
On the defensive differences between the penalty kill and 5-on-5 play tonight
[Quick] was really solid for us in net on the PK and that’s very important. We didn’t give him too many freebies on the entries. We were trying to pressure the puck as much as you can and get in the clearest. Kaprisov, he’s a good skill player and anytime you give him too much time he’s gonna make plays, maybe that was the case tonight.
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