For the third straight game, the Kings came up short. After sweeping the Coyotes in a two-game set played in Arizona last week, LA fell 3-2 on Wednesday night. This was a rare stand alone game in 2021 and these two teams won’t meet again until late April.
After his team’s latest loss, coach Todd McLellan shared the following thoughts:
On if the reason for the loss was more on the second period or the play of Antti Raanta, Arizona goaltender
It’s a good question. You got to tip your hat to their goaltender, they played well. We also made him look well sometimes. Our second period performance wasn’t very good, we weren’t real sharp for a lot of the night. You think of the opportunities they had before they even scored their first goal coming off our tape, opportunities to move the puck quickly out of our zone, advance it even 10 or 15 feet and get the momentum going the other way. We’re just slow again with pucks. We spent the last two days in practice trying to pick the pace up with puck movement and coming out clean, and it bit us again tonight.
On the second period being a good example of what happens when the team can’t roll all four lines
Our penalty kill let us down tonight. We made two critical mistakes and they capitalized on them, mistakes that we saw last year in our penalty killing. We think we’ve corrected them, they’re creeping back in, so we’ve got work to do there. Our inability to get clears was something that we’re really disappointed in. We couldn’t get fresh bodies out because we couldn’t get the puck all the way down. We won face-offs, they kept pucks alive when it’s coming off our tape. Our overall quarterback rating would be very poor tonight, whether it’s the passing part of it or the clearing part. I think to a man we were poor.
On the growth of the team’s ability to not give up on games from last season
It’s in the DNA of this team prior to me even getting here. The five veterans that have won Stanley Cups, they have that in them, it just sprinkles and spreads through. It makes our job as coaches much easier when you have those type of people with that quality already in them. Every time somebody asks me that question, there’s the other side of the equation. 3-0 Minnesota, 3-0 Minnesota, 3-1 Arizona. It’s great that we have that trade of crawling back and playing hard, but why are we getting to three on the wrong end of the stick so quick? We’ve got to figure that part out.
More postgame quotes:
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