Boot Final – Kings 2, Ducks 1 – Walker, Vilardi, McLellan

The Los Angeles Kings claimed their second win of the pre-season with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night at Arena.

Both strikers Adrian Kembe and Arthur Kaliev scored strong goals in the first half, while goalkeeper Jonathan Quick saved 24 times in 25 shots to achieve his first victory in the preparatory season.

It was the guests who started scoring in the evening, however, less than a minute into the match. Quimbe cut a pass in the neutral zone, but the ball veered between a pair of Kings and entered the path of Anaheim striker Max Comtoa, who fired Rocco Grimaldi to score in the back corner.

The Kings, however, recovered two goals from power play to advance 2-1 in the first break.

First, he found a powerful Anzi Kopetar passing sequence on the left boards, with the Kings captain hooking the needle to Quimby, who collected the disc and hit his shot home at the back post. The Kings added a second power-playing goal during the last 30 seconds of the first period, with striker TJ Tynan engaging Arthur Kaliev at one time from inside the right circle, which he shot past Anaheim goalkeeper John Gibson. First evening drive for kings.

The second and third periods passed, without goals, although it was the kings who owned the bulk of the puck’s possession. Gabe Velardi hit the Kings Column, while Jonathan Quick hit the upright on the way through the other end of the duck view. However, neither team was able to find the net, leading to the final 2-1.

Hear from Shawn Walker, Gabi Velardi and Todd McClellan after tonight’s game.

Shawn Walker

Gabi Velardi
On whether he feels the Kings have found more disc possession in tonight’s match than in previous matches
Yes, I agree with that. I think just like last year we should start finding ways to score more goals, but for sure the chances were there. If you put 40 shots, in every match but only score 2 goals, on some nights like tonight you might win matches but on other nights teams will score more than 2 goals. Quickie played great, we just have to find ways to score goals no matter what.

To increase the puck’s movement on the power play
In all honesty, there isn’t much of me, I’m in front of the net and really trying to get attention and trying to find that back door space. But yeah, they’ve been moving really fast and I’m on a bigger tweak recovery mode, just trying to make room for other players by almost distracting and bringing in the guys. I kind of saw that on Juice Target today, I guess. We worked on it and really liked it, it looks good.

About the ability of players to move more in different locations in the game of power
We have three left over there, I’m the only one right [among the forwards]. It’s hockey at the end of the day and you have to read the play and get possession before the position, so you have to own the puck before you can get into the roles and positions. It helps to have Kevin and Juice, who are very similar players I think in terms of half-wall abilities and tweaks timing. It is easy for them to switch.

Todd McClellan
About whether he feels the Kings somewhat resemble themselves in the attack area
Yes, I thought it happened in the game stages. Not too early, second period yeah, and as the night went on I thought you could see more of our game together, the cut methodically but also just the perseverance of the front-check and the way we play, maybe that’s a good thing that happened to us. Special teams that we’ve done some work on now, we’ve seen some production from them, whether it’s penalties or power play, so that’s a good sign. But I would say yes, closer to our identity.

On his thoughts on the team playing 5 on 5 tonight
5-on-5 We haven’t had enough offensive action, I think, in the fair season yet. We didn’t catch the balls in continuous attack time until tonight, tonight was the first night that we actually managed for a little while. Some polishing around the net seems to be always what we’re looking for and there should be again. I would say throughout the show season it is slowly improving. Tonight, it came close to what we wanted offensively. Defensively, we’re knocking on the wood, we haven’t given up much and when we have the goalkeepers there for us. Work in progress, like any other team.

On the play of power and action in certain concepts of practice
There were some concepts we were trying to introduce. Let’s face it, we probably had 20 minutes of really playing time, discussions and meetings, so we can’t get it all done at once. The only thing we got was a lot of pieces for the unit tonight in the lineup. That’s one of the tricky things as a team or as workers, is that when a lot of players are still trying to get into the team, you don’t really get your full units or penalty pairs. I hope that starts this week.

On his impressions of Shawn Walker in his first game after injury
I couldn’t be happier for this guy. I’m talking about a show game, it looks like we’re in the seventh game, but for what he’s been through, to make his way back. It got better as the night went on and I really think. His first spell was a rough one, he was speaking fast but he got into the match quickly. If he’s comfortable and his leg is good, we’ll keep playing with him and try to run him. Good first night for him.

About giving Walker an “A” on his shirt tonight
Leadership isn’t always when you’re in the squad, it’s what you do to get your teammates back too. It sums it up, so he deserved it tonight.

Notes –
– Striker Adrien Kembe scored his second goal and second goal in playing the force before the start of the season. Kempe scored in each of the two exhibition competitions he competed in.
– Striker Arthur Kaliev opened his account before the start of the season with a strong goal in the first half.
– Kaliev also led all players with 6 shots on goal and 11 shot attempts.
– Defensesman Drew Dottie, as well as forwards Anzi Kopetar and TJ Tainan, each collected their first pre-season points with the help of Power Play.
– Dottie also led the Kings with a total time of 25:23 on the ice this evening.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Quick saves 24 times in 25 shots, cutting a distance to win. Quick has now made 41 saves in 43 shots from his two pre-season appearances.

The Kings are expected to return to the ice for training tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. at the Toyota Sports Performance Center.

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