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They Said It: Brind’Amour, Drury, Kotkaniemi break down dominant win over Kings

The Carolina Hurricanes dominated the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-1 victory Saturday night, as the Canes got two early goals and never looked back.

Jack Drury scores the fifth goal against the Los Angeles Kings, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 in PNC Arena. The Canes won in regulation, 5-1.
Kaydee Gawlik

It was smooth sailing for the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night in PNC Arena, as the Canes beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-1 in a commanding effort from start to finish.

The Hurricanes got a goal from Jesperi Kotkaniemi just 37 seconds into the game, and then another one from Jesper Fast 59 seconds later on the power play. Brett Pesce, Teuvo Teravainen and Jack Drury added goals for the home team, with Drury scoring his second NHL goal in as many career games.

Following the impressive win, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Drury,

Rod Brind’Amour

On Kotkaniemi finding his confidence and getting a bigger role at the same time: I think it’s both. First we kind of started him on the wing. We knew he was better at center, but we had three great centers. It was tough for him to get the opportunity to get the opportunity to really show his stuff. The situation presented itself the way it is. He’s certainly had more opportunity, and he’s doing a great job with it.

On what it says about the system to be playing like this with so much lineup change: For sure. To be 100 percent honest, if coming into these two games you would have said we’d be coming out with two victories this way, I would have been not surprised, but I would have said ‘hell, that’s big time.’ Whether it’s the process or whatever, I think guys are just working hard. Kudos to all the guys that came in because they all contributed and played hard.

On the fast start and playing with urgency: We get hit again with [Martin Necas] going down right away. That’s another top guy that goes out. Everyone just kind of figured it out. Like I said, the next guy up is just getting it done. Our D plays really well, and that’s a huge part of it. And our goalie was great tonight. That helps, obviously, to just kind of keep the game under control. That start was huge. Get the goal and then get the power play and score, that does make it a lot easier.

On if he has an update on Necas: I don’t have one as of yet, no.

On winning the special teams battle: That’s always a big part of the game. If you don’t watch the game and you want to look at the score and see what happened, you look at special teams and whoever was the plus in that is the team that generally wins. Our penalty kill I thought was really good. The power play got a couple nice ones. Considering all the guys we have out on our power play, it’s actually looking pretty good. I might have to rethink all of that. That was a big part of the game.

On Drury: He’s been good. That line was good for us. They had to play against their best players at times, and no problems. They hung in there with them. He’s been good. I think [Derek Stepan] has been good for him, just to have that veteran guy there that talks to him a lot. I’ve got to give [Stefan Noesen] a lot of credit, too, coming in. He’s played really well for us. Jack’s been good, but all of these other guys have really contributed as well.

On how they’re going to use the next few days and on if they anticipate getting in the Ottawa game: I can’t answer that, if I’m being honest with you. I said to the guys today ‘I think we’re going day to day right now. Let’s make the most of this day and come back tomorrow and see what happens.’ If we know for sure that we’re not playing until Thursday, we’ll get at least a day or two off in here and stay away and try to keep the guys we have available. We’ll just go from there, but we have no word.

On if there’s been any discussion about making up the Minnesota game in this window: I don’t know. A lot depends on their schedule. A lot just depends on what everyone is doing and what they decide to do. If they’re slowing things down, if they’re — I don’t know. It’s not a question for me, and no one wants to hear my answer on that anyway. I’ll leave it at that.

Jack Drury

On getting any instruction on the Storm Surge: No, I think we’ve watched it on YouTube and TV enough to get the gist of it.

On his confidence: Yeah, I think the team is playing well, and we’re playing together and as a group. We’re making good plays together. I think when everyone is rolling and we’re playing well, I think everybody builds confidence off of that. I think all the guys that have come up from Chicago, we’ve molded in nicely and are just trying to help the team win.

On the fast start: I feel like we were ready to compete today. That was the message coming into the day. I think everybody bought in. That’s why this team wins game, it’s when everyone is working hard and giving their best effort.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

On if this opportunity to have a bigger role has come right when he’s got his confidence all the way back: Yeah. I just try to do the same thing over and over again, no matter what the ice time is. I just try to keep it simple, and it’s been good so far.

On how nice it is to be getting results: It’s good for the confidence, of course. I’m feeling a little bit better with the puck and a little bit more confident to make plays. It’s been really good so far, and the last two games have been fun.

On if his goal was just him playing to the whistle: Yeah, I felt I had a good angle. I was probably the only guy who saw the puck there, so it was pretty easy to tap that in.

On all the AHL call-ups contributing: Yeah, it’s pretty impressive. In the situation we are, guys come up and play on that level, it’s just crazy. That tells you about this organization and how good it is. We can trust those guys every night. It’s been great.