Here’s some of what former Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey said about his return to the Honda Center with the Boston Bruins on Friday and also taking a stick in the face that left quite a mark near his eye: “It was fun. It was fun to come back here. Obviously, the outcome is not what you want. It was weird sitting on the other bench tonight, but the first one is out of the way and you have to move on.
“Supposedly, there was no high stick call. I don’t know if he (Ducks defenseman Simon Despres) was shooting the puck. I thought he tried to lift my stick and hit me. It’s just another black eye.”
Here’s some of what New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said about the Kings’ disputed third goal Thursday, a deflection by Anze Kopitar that tied the score at 3-all at 15:50 of the third period: “The rule is you can’t have a guy in the crease. I can’t come out to play the shot. As a goalie, when you try to make a save and you have a forward motion and he (Tyler Toffoli) doesn’t make any effort to get out, I can’t believe the ref after watching it, didn’t get it right. That means you can pretty much put a guy in the crease and as long as the goalie doesn’t get run over, it’s a good goal. That’s the way I look at this goal.”
Nick Ritchie scored his first NHL goal Monday in the Ducks’ 7-1 rout of the New Jersey Devils at the Honda Center. His goal was the Ducks’ sixth of the night against Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid, and might have otherwise been forgettable. But it was his first of his career. Coincidentally, his parents arrived from Toronto and were in the Honda Center to bear witness to their son’s first goal.
“I was pretty excited,” said Ritchie, 20. “It was 5-1 there, so it was kind of a meaningless goal (to make it 6-1), but with your first one, it means something. Some of the guys were excited, as well. I’m going to remember that one for a while. You’re more worried about playing the game and helping the team out, but to get it out of the way and move forward feels good. Maybe there’s a little bit of weight lifted off. Hopefully, I’m better for it moving on.”
Here’s some of what Kings center Anze Kopitar said after a 2-1 overtime loss Saturday to the New Jersey Devils: “I don’t think the energy level tonight was where it needed to be, especially right off the start. The power play was not on tonight. We just didn’t play the way we needed to win the game, especially at this time of the year.”
Here’s some of what Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said after a 2-1 shootout loss Monday to the Washington Capitals at the Honda Center: “It’s great we got a point and all that. We’re winning right now, but we’re not playing as good as we can. We have to get back to that. It’s tough to keep winning. It was 11 in a row. Our execution wasn’t what it should’ve been tonight. Maybe they (the Capitals) had a lot do do with it. They’re a pretty good hockey club.”
Here’s some of what ever-quotable LA Kings left wing Milan Lucic said after a 3-2 loss Saturday against the Ducks at Staples Center: “We know they’re a really good power-play team, especially as of late. We did a good job of keeping our discipline by only taking two penalties, but they capitalized on both opportunities. It was a hard-fought game and a tough one to swallow.
“Right off the get-go, guys were sticking up for each other and that shows a lot of team character and willingness to play for one another and that goes a long way down the stretch of the season. Like I said, when you lose a game like this, the biggest game of the year up to this point, it is a hard one to swallow and you just have to do your best to bounce back as quick as you can.”
Kris Versteeg played 10 minutes Thursday in his Kings debut after Sunday’s trade from the Carolina Hurricanes. He was credited with two shots on goal and was whistled for a tripping. He also had a minus-1 defensive rating. Here’s some of what he said about the Kings’ 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens: “It felt good. Those four days, there was a lot of sitting and stewing, thinking. It was nice to get playing again and get some games going. It’s already 60 games into the season, so these guys are a well-oiled machine and I’m just trying to fit in.”
Jamie McGinn and Brandon Pirri, the Ducks’ newest forwards, were expected to arrive in Orange County late Tuesday, too late for interviews. McGinn was scheduled to participate in Wednesday’s morning skate and to be available to play in that night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Pirri is on injured reserve with an ankle injury and could be sidelined for several more games.
Here’s what Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked Tuesday about McGinn, who was acquired Monday from the Buffalo Sabres:
“That’s how McGinn gets his goals, goes to the net and stands in front. From what I gather, he’s a pretty big guy. We just saw him last week. He’s a big strong forward, so the more guys you can get like that come playoff time, the better.
“He’s a good player for us. (Andrew) Ladd (who went from Winnipeg to Chicago in a trade) has more experience, but McGinn is a really good fit for our team. That’s what we’re looking for, good fits. Some guys might be tremendous players, but aren’t a good fit for the team. I really think he’s going to be a really good fit.”
Here’s Boudreau on Pirri, who was acquired Monday from the Florida Panthers:
“I know he can score. I know he would score whenever Chicago called him up and the announcers would say, ‘Well, why’s he going back?’ He scored 22 (goals) last year. I don’t know much else about him. I look forward to seeing him and watching some tape of him. Any time you’ve got another offense threat who can skate like him is going to be a good addition to our lineup.”
Here’s what Oilers coach Todd McLellan had to say about the Kings, a longtime rival while he coached the San Jose Sharks: “They’re a tough opponent. They’re strong. They’re experienced. They don’t panic at all. Their goaltender makes great saves. We competitively pushed this team to the brink, but at the end of the day, it’s still a loss.”
The Ducks have won six consecutive games, including a 5-2 victory Friday over the Arizona Coyotes at the Honda Center. They are 13-3-1 since the Christmas break and 8-1-0 in their last nine games. Their have scored 34 goals in their last nine, an average of 3.8 per game. They have scored four or more six times in that stretch.
“Guys are jelling, guys are playing good,” Ducks left wing Patrick Maroon said. “At the beginning of the season, guys had no confidence. When you start the season 1-7-2, I mean, guys are not going to jell, guys are down in the dumps, guys aren’t scoring, guys aren’t producing. Everyone’s chipping in now and everyone has a little confidence. Trust me, confidence goes a lot way in this game. If you don’t have it, your game is not going to be there and you’ve got to find it every night.”