How did you feel overall tonight?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.68 | Sv%: .909
"So-so. It was just a complete battle out there, just trying to the best of my ability to find pucks and to make saves for the guys. Came up short."
How would you break down your performance?
"I have pretty high standards for myself. I expect and demand a lot of myself. That's not a good performance."
You guys had some good momentum in the first, what happened in the second?
"They're a big team and they wear on you. I thought we were still doing a lot of good things out there. Just unfortunate they got the power play late there on mine. I didn't even know my stick was there, it was just him and I, in front battling. As soon as I felt the tug of his skate, I tried to let go of my stick. But that's neither here nor there, and the ref called it a penalty so couldn't find it there in the second one, sort of gave them momentum."
Did it take a bit to knock the rust off?
"That's a good question. The only way to get better game shape is by playing and in order to do that you've got to perform. We'll see the next time I get a start."
Was the challenge to rebound quickly after that early first goal?
"Yeah, I wasn't expecting that but they made a great play and Toffoli buried it. It's not the way you want to start the game."
Did it seem like the second period didn’t have the same jump?
CENTER - DET
Goals: 7 | Assists: 23 | Pts: 30
Shots: 94 | +/-: 4
“Maybe not. But I think overall it was a pretty solid road game. I think when you play against a team like this there’s not a lot of quality chances. There’s a lot of what I’d call ugly chances. You’ve got to get in front out the net, get a lot of pucks on net and get it for a second chance. Maybe we didn’t really get in the middle in the second but I thought in the third we had a really good push again and after they scored I thought we had some pretty good shifts and some good chances. They’re a good team and they won tonight.”
Were the power-play goals for them the difference in a tight game?
“It is. It’s not really a surprise. We only had one and half power plays today. I think the first PP was pretty good. We had some good chances but couldn’t really get a goal and then they scored two. Five on five, there’s not a lot happening.”
How much does Miller’s loss hurt?
“It’s hard to see, especially when he just came back to play the game and now he’s out again. But you’ve just got to go through it, go through the rehab and he will be back and ready to go.”
How much did seven defensemen and 11 forwards affect the flow of the game?
“It’s a little different. It’s a little mixing and matching in the lines. But it is what it is. You’ve just got to get used to it.”
Are you satisfied with amount of shots the team has been getting lately?
“We’d won four in a row before this so we’ve got to be pretty happy with that. Tonight I think it’s tough to get shots through against a team like this, but we still ended up with 29 or 25 (27 actually) so I’m happy.”
How did you feel in your first game back?
Defense - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 3
Shots: 10 | +/-: 1
"It was good to be out there, it got better every shift so that was a positive."
With seven D and 11 forwards, how did you find the flow?
"Personally, it wasn't much flow but like I said, I was just happy to be out there. It'll keep getting better."
How much did the Kings' size affect you guys?
"I thought we did a pretty good job actually, handling their forecheck. I don't think that was the difference."
What was the difference in outcome tonight?
"They just scored on their shots more than we did, I think. It was kind of a pretty even game."
What did you see in the second period when they out-shot you 10-4?
"They definitely played better in the second. I don't know what it was but they took it to us pretty good."
How challenging was it to have to start the third period on the penalty kill?
"It's not a positive. I wouldn't say crippling. It's not something you want to do but we thought we could kill it off and go from there. But they got one there. It is what it is."
|Moments before the Kings' 2-on-1 rush that resulted in the game's first goal, Dylan Larkin was roughed up on this hit by Los Angeles defenseman Luke Schenn. (Photo by Getty Images) |
How bad was that second period?
“I thought the first period was a good period back and forth, they had some opportunities, too, Jimmy made some big saves on. It ebbed and flowed the way a lot of these games do. The second, we didn’t have enough. They pushed and we didn’t push back. They took it to us in the second, clearly the better team in the second. I thought after they scored the power-play goal in the beginning of the third we had good push and played fairly well until about the four-minute mark. But you got to play a complete 60 (minutes). We got to be better than we were.”
Were penalties a factor in taking from the flow of the play?
“We were on our heels a little bit and you get a penalty and that puts you on your heels a little bit more and they scored (seven) seconds into the one power play. That hurts. We spent too much of the second on our heels, we got to do a better job on the attack.”
Was it good to see Howard rebounding from the early goal?
“Real happy with the mental toughness he showed there. Him and I talked about hopefully the game goes your way, well it didn’t right off the bat, he gets back-doored there on an easy goal. But I thought he rebounded, made some real good saves in the first and kept it 2-1 and unfortunately in the end it just wasn’t quite enough.”
Have you been disappointed in the PK after last three games?
“Yeah, it was interesting, though. Sometimes with your penalty kill, you have breakdowns, you’re giving up lots of big-time opportunities and you say it wasn’t good enough and sometimes the puck goes in the net. The puck went in the net. In both those cases they weren’t real big breakdowns, it’s disappointing from a results standpoint. From a process standpoint I thought we were OK.”
What went into your decision to go with seven defensemen tonight?
“The one thing with the seven D today is you got a guy (Kyle Quincey) coming into the lineup who hasn’t played in three months and that’s a hard, hard thing, so you never know what you’re going to expect. So that was a little bit to protect ourselves to see how Kyle was going to come into the game and how his foot was going to be. We’ve had success in the past doing it with seven D and 11 forwards. It can be hard and certainly can disrupt the flow a little bit. Tonight, it wasn’t good enough.”
Can you assess the game overall, and about playing back-to-back nights?
“Not good enough. I thought for two periods we were good but in the second we just weren’t good enough. We got to have more energy than that. I’d say individually there’s some guys that just have to give a little bit more. We need some guys producing a little bit at a higher level, we need some guys playing at a little bit higher level. The differences between winning and losing in this league are so tiny, you got to make sure you’re ready to go for 60 minutes. I didn’t think in the second we were good enough.”
Were you happy to see Marchenko score his first goal of the season?
“I was happy it went in. Marchy is a guy who is really smart offensively. He doesn’t quite have some of the offensive skill that some of the different guys have, but he’s really smart offensively. He puts himself in good spots.
“The other thing is we shot the puck a decent amount, but I still thought we could have gotten more pucks to the net. The first one (period) we did, we had some success. We got away from it in the second and it cost us.”
With is recent play, do you think Marchenko is telling ‘you don’t you dare send me down’?
“I don’t know if it’s that, I thought he did a good job, I think he’s played pretty well overall. But again, we’ll sit back and evaluate which six D give us the best chance to win come Thursday.”
How did you think Helm, who had two assists, did tonight?
“First period he was great, he drew two penalties. I thought he was on the puck great. So overall I thought he had a real good game.”
Are you just not getting enough shots on net of late?
“I think we went through a stretch where we had lots of O-zone time in comparison to D-zone time. I don’t think we’ve had as much here in the last 5-6 games. That’s what our numbers tell us. So we got to do a better job of spending more time in the O-zone. I think that will result in more shots. I also think we still passed up a few too many shots. We got to make sure we get more pucks to the net. We got to simplify a little bit. It’s hard to score in the league. We’re not scoring enough goals overall so we got to make sure we’re getting more pucks to the net.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.