Any player will tell you, it’s hard to enjoy scoring a goal when your team loses. It’s even harder when you record a hat trick.
With some late-game drama on Monday night, Adrian Kempe notched his third goal of the game to help push the Kings to overtime – marking the first time in history a Kings player had scored a hat trick against the Ducks. However, it was Anaheim who eventually skated off with a 6-5 win over their SoCal rivals.
After the game, Kempe shared the following comments:
On what was working for him offensively tonight
Our start wasn’t the best, but coming back after that; we were trying to talk about it before the game, getting on the forecheck and creating turnovers, then try to get to the net as quick as possible. That’s what we did. We had some chances on the power play tonight and finally got one, a big goal, as well.
On if he is happy with how he responded to the challenge from Todd McLellan for more offense
Yeah. I’ve put the puck in the net more. Before that, I was excited to play, I’m happy with my play still, I didn’t score when I wanted to but still have my chances. I’ve been trying to be around the net more over the last couple games. I got one there tonight, it’s good.
On if he is doing anything different in practice to get himself to the front of the net more often
Coming from the forecheck, I think I’ve been more hungry around there, creating more turnovers. We were sitting around waiting a little bit for them, going into a neutral zone. Tonight, we talked about it, as well. We wanted to get out on the forecheck and create turnovers. That’s something I know I’m good at, but got a little bit away from it. Creating turnovers from there and taking the puck to the net has been something I’ve been focusing on lately.
On adjustments from playing in three straight overtime games
Going back to the start, we weren’t really on our toes right away. That’s something we have to clean up and be better at. Especially the last couple games, we’ve been a good team at coming from behind, but we have to learn to have a good start and play with a lead, as well. That’s something we have to focus on. It was a really good comeback for our team tonight and that’s something that we have to bring with us, as well. Bring the positives from this game.
On a difference in his power play approach this year
I’ve been trying to hit the net a lot more than I did last year. I had some good chances last year, maybe didn’t hit the net, then you don’t get that second opportunity. This year, I’ve been just working on my one-timer a lot, just trying to get it off, and off my tape as quick as possible, trying to get it on the net. We have [Alex Iafallo] and [Dustin Brown] up there, they’re unreal on rebounds and everything. They’ve scored a lot of goals just off my shots, which helps a lot. I want to keep being good on entries and finding the passing lanes and create opportunities for other guys, as well.
More postgame comments linked below.
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Lead photo via Getty Images / LA Kings