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WCF Game 1 - Recap

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings

Kings Locker Room Quotes:

Kings forward Anze Kopitar

“I think we can do a better of getting in front of the net and make it harder on their goalie because we had some pretty good shots, but nobody was hanging around, so he was able to see everything.”

“Well, they have a good team obviously over there. I think right down the lineup they’re pretty solid obviously. We’re going to have to do a better job of checking, of not giving up timely goals and score a few more ourselves.”

Kings forward Tyler Toffoli

“I think we were really pushing there and obviously that call, fortunate for us. We came back and scored, but one goal is not enough. We have to score more than one goal to win a game in the playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.”


Q. (Question regarding fatigue.)

COACH SUTTER: Yeah, only time I really noticed it quite honest was early in the game. They were going to come out with some energy, they did two or three times in the first where we got caught at the end of shifts. That's where it showed up.

Other than that, I don't think it really hurt us that much.

Q. What was your understanding or the explanation you got on the disallowed goal?

COACH SUTTER: They reviewed it because if the first shot doesn't go in the net, then it can't be pushed in. That's why they were reviewing it, so...

Don't get much opportunity to look at it.

Q. Your thoughts on Willie Mitchell's play, first game back?

COACH SUTTER: He was fine.

Q. Tyler Toffoli and Pearson seemed to provide a lot of energy. Obviously some very good scoring chances tonight. How do you evaluate them?

COACH SUTTER: Thought the line was good. Jeff, Tanner, Tyler. Obviously, they scored a big goal. Tyler's play, he was a good player for us last year against Chicago, too. I'm sure there wasn't any intimidation coming into this building. Played with Dustin Penner, good line here last year.

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Q. With that disallowed one happening, was there anything said as far as making sure everybody stayed the course after that one?

COACH QUENNEVILLE: I thought we lost a little momentum there. They scored, equalized. Dunk [Keith] scored a good goal. I thought playing with the lead, I thought we were fine, but still very tight. It was a good hockey team over there.

Q. What was the explanation you got about the disallowed goal?

COACH QUENNEVILLE: I didn't get one right away, but a couple seconds later it was ruled incidental contact.

Q. Are you buying that?


Q. On style of play

COACH QUENNEVILLE: I thought we had some that were restricted, but they're a good off-the-rush team. They create rush chances themselves.

Just because you're going one way doesn't mean you're going back the other way. I think we have to respect that knowing we don't want to get into a complete rush game with them, knowing the quality is going to be higher end with them. It's all going to be determined by how well we check.

We have to do things quick, quick, quick, whether it's puck movement or indirect play. I think we have to use their speed.

Q. How did you feel about Leddy's performance today?


Q. Can you talk about defending their top line.

COACH QUENNEVILLE: It's going to be a work in progress, a challenge game in, game out. They got three nice players that all complement one another. They're dangerous. Every time they touch the puck, every time they're on the ice, you got to be aware.

Q. Did you see fatigue from them at all?

COACH QUENNEVILLE: I thought we had a good first five minutes or so. They came back on us pretty even most of the way. Had some stretches in the second where they had the play.

But they got balance on their four lines. They get energy from everybody. Very active ‘D.’ Every shift going forward is going to be important in this series.

Q. Besides presence in front of the net, is it as simple as being there or is there a trick to be there, stay there?

COACH QUENNEVILLE: You got to be there first. There's a willingness to get there. Probably a price to pay. Sometimes they go off you. I know they've had some success by being there, fortunate bounces off our pads or sticks, we don't even know it hits us.

It all makes your power play work by being there first of all, then you get a shooting mentality. If you're looking for a perfect goal on a power play it's not going to happen.

Q. Do you feel like the championship experiences of your team come to bear in situations like with that waved-off goal, then L.A. scoring?

COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, well, you got to commend our players for not changing their approach in big games. I think there's always going to be adversity in the course of a game, you're always going to lose momentum in the course of a game. Against a good team like that, you want to get it back as quick as you can, which I thought was a big point in today's win.

I think our guys are very resilience and I think our top guys lead the guard in that area.

Q. You can't review goalie interference. Where are you on that?

COACH QUENNEVILLE: I think the way the standard is, the way the rules are, I think you've got to -- goalies need protection. I understand that.



Q. Jonathan, on the disallowed goal, I'm sure there was a little bit of frustration. Did you talk about it as far as just kind of putting it behind you and moving on?

JONATHAN TOEWS: Yeah, I think that's what it was all about, was just trying to forget about it, not get too worked up about a call that didn't go our way.

To add insult to injury, they came right back to score to tie it up not too long after. That's where we did a good job of just forgetting about what happened, moving on, focusing on our game, not getting away from them.

Q. Talk about Corey's play today, maybe how his evolution of play after the first few games of St. Louis to where we are now, what you've seen in him?

JONATHAN TOEWS: I should prepare more for these press conferences and interviews so I've got something original and creative to say.

I think he keeps getting better and better. As a team, we want to keep raising our level of play as the stage gets bigger and bigger. If there's anyone that's doing it, it's Crow. Whether it's big penalty kills or us protecting situations late in games, he just seems to get better and better as the pressure mounts.

We were talking a few days ago about the crowd chanting his name in Minnesota. Doesn't matter how much pressure is on him, he just seems to keep playing. It's an example that I think the rest of us can follow.

Q. On the disallowed goal, what did you see and what was explained to you? Corey, as a follow-up, as a goalie, are you in favor of goalie interference being reviewable?

JONATHAN TOEWS: I guess I didn't really see how the puck went in. I just took it to the net, kind of lost it when I got to the short post. Obviously, the puck was in, the guys were celebrating. I'm not sure too much interference. I haven't seen the play. Obviously, it happened pretty fast.

I think when it comes down to it, it was disappointing because of, you know, how the play was called on the ice, the fact it was non-reviewable.

I think some of those go against us. We were hoping that one was going to go for us in a way.

Like I said, a tough situation, but it's over now.

COREY CRAWFORD: I think as a goalie in a certain situation like that on a goal, something close, you're going to get those calls sometimes. Other times it's going to go against you. I think you just have to let the refs make the call. Hopefully they're in the right spot to see the right play.

Q. Corey, does that feel more like the Blues' series, offensively minded? Is that what you like, to be more involved?

COREY CRAWFORD: The Wild series was high-paced, too, except for one game that was kind of slow, not much going on.

This is a team that is pretty physical. They play smart. They're strong defensively. Got to work for our chances against the Kings. I think we did that tonight. We weren't forcing things in the middle. We were trying to use our speed to the outside. When it wasn't there, we were pulling up, looking for late guys.

We just got to keep playing our game, keep playing strong. Like I said, those plays where you're forcing things, try to take care of that.

Q. Jonathan, was it more suiting your style? Minnesota trapped you a lot. Did this open up a little bit for you guys?

JONATHAN TOEWS: Yeah, I think like someone just said there, it's a little more comparable to the style we played against St. Louis, a team that plays physical and fast, but at the same time plays offense.

If we're checking well, we're playing well on our own side of the puck. We can try to create our own chances off of that, try to make them make mistakes.

A little different than the Minnesota scores. Like Crow just said, a lot of it is our preparation, knowing exactly what the other team wants to do, knowing how different they are from teams we faced before.

I think the more we can make them worry about us, the better situation we'll be in.

Q. How would you assess your play and confidence level compared to a year ago, Corey?

COREY CRAWFORD: Confidence has always been there. The first thing is being prepared, having that preparation to play, to try and have my game at the highest level it can be each time I get out there.

It's knowing the other team, their tendencies. After that, it's just going out there and playing. Also I'm getting a lot of help from our guys in front of me.

That third period today was rock solid. I don't remember too many great chances that they got in the third. We kind of just shut them down there, obviously got a key goal by Tazer.

I approach every next game. That's always the most important. Game 2 is now the most important. I'm going to rest up now and prepare for that.

Q. Corey, I know you don't play against another goalie. Does it change anything for you when you play a guy like Jonathan Quick and you know his level of play?

COREY CRAWFORD: No, unless he skates down the ice and starts dangling around our guys. I mean, I'm focused on their players. It really doesn't affect my game, whatever goes on on the other end.

JONATHAN TOEWS: Well said (smiling).

Q. You have had a couple second periods like that, where they've kind of led, you've refocused in the third. Is there something where you are turning it back on in the third or...

JONATHAN TOEWS: I don't know. I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to what happens throughout a game, whether they take it to us at a certain part of the game or trends that you guys might see. I don't think there's anything special to that or any hidden meanings or anything like that.

Like I said, I think we did a lot of good things on our own side of the puck tonight. Again, similar to the Minnesota series, we can try to generate a little bit more maybe shots coming left and right.

Wherever we get those shots from, we have to have more traffic and make things tougher on Quick than we did tonight. I think it's a better feeling when you look up at the shot clock, it's a little bit more favorable. You always feel like, you know, you're dictating the game a little bit more maybe.

But we'll focus on those things and not worry about too much.

Q. You were matched up a lot against their top line. Can you talk about keeping them off the score sheet and the challenge of defending and trying to score.

JONATHAN TOEWS: It's part of defending against Kopitar's line, regardless of who he plays with, he's going to be effective. The best way to do that is just to keep him in his own zone and make him have to worry about playing defense.

I'm lucky I got Hossa out there, too. If I make a mistake out there, too, he's hauling back to make up for it, too.

I think with Bicks, as well, we've been playing smart defensively, getting pucks out of our zone. We got better and better as the game went along tonight. We know we have a tough job to do if we're going to be seeing a lot of that line.

Q. On the last goal, how important on those rushes is the timing of the pass?

JONATHAN TOEWS: For some guys it doesn't really matter. They can get ahold of it and get a hard shot off regardless of where the pass comes from.

For me, it pretty much has to be a perfect pass. And it was from Johnny. I just kind of got ready for the pass, showed him where I wanted it. It was a great chance to take advantage of that one.

You know, like I said, some guys it comes easier than others. For me it was nice to get a good shot off there.

Chicago Club Notes:

•The Blackhawks recorded a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings today at the United Center in Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final Western Conference Final … Chicago leads the NHL with seven home wins and remains the only team with a perfect home record during the postseason … The Blackhawks are now 8-0 when scoring first during the 2014 playoffs … Chicago went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill today and is now 44-for-48 on the PK.

•Brandon Saad opened the scoring today with his first career postseason power-play goal … He added a helper for his second multi-point outing of the playoffs … He has a career-high nine points (3G, 6A) through 13 postseason games.

•Duncan Keith netted his third goal of the playoffs, which paces team defensemen … He shares fifth on the team with nine postseason points (3G, 6A) through 13 tilts… The goal marked his second career postseason game-winner.

•Jonathan Toews collected his sixth goal of the postseason with a third-period tally … He shares the team lead with six goals and second with 11 points … Toews won 11 of 18 faceoffs (61 percent).

•Marian Hossa tallied two helpers today for his fourth multi-point outing of the playoffs … He ranks sixth in the league with a team-high 13 points (2G, 11A) in as many games, including five assists in his last four contests … Hossa posted three shots on goal today and now ranks third in the NHL with 50 SOG.

•Nick Leddy posted an assist vs. Los Angeles for his third helper of the playoffs, setting a postseason career high in assists and equaling his playoff career-best three points … He also added three blocked shots today.

•Marcus Kruger registered a helper today for his third point (1G, 2A) of the playoffs.

•Johnny Oduya recorded an assist vs. Los Angeles for his third helper and fourth point of the postseason.

•Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook paced the team with four blocked shots each … Hjalmarsson paces the NHL with 42 blocked shots, while Seabrook ranks second on the team with 29 blocked shots … Seabrook also paced the team with five hits, followed by Bryan Bickell and Brandon Bollig, who each recorded four hits … Bickell leads the club with 49 hits.

•Goaltender Corey Crawford turned aside 25 of 26 shots today for his ninth win of the postseason … He now has 30 career postseason victories in 50 career playoff games … Today’s contest marked the third consecutive game that Crawford has held an opponent to only one goal.

•Today’s game marked the 274th consecutive capacity crowd at the United Center (regular and postseason).

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