Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored his first career NHL goal in the LA Kings 4-3 loss to the Golden Knights on Sunday. He spoke with the media following the game.
The bad news: the LA Kings lost their fourth-straight game.
The good news: Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored his first-career NHL goal.
Okay, so unless it’s the turning point of a game, one player netting their first-career tally will not make a collective difference for their team. For Jaret Anderson-Dolan, though, it is an auspicious sign.
While he was held off the scoresheet in his season debut in Vegas on Friday, the 21-year-old looked to fit right in. Back in Vegas on Sunday, Anderson-Dolan made it count, potting his first NHL goal up and over Golden Knights netminder Robin Lehner to tie the game. The goal, scored at 8:53 of the second period, capped off a crucial Kings’ momentum swing.
Unfortunately, the Golden Knights scored just 1:38 into the third to make it 4-3, and that is how it ended.
His team’s defeat aside, though, Jaret Anderson-Dolan should feel good about his efforts. As a matter of fact, he did.
Following Sunday’s game, Anderson-Dolan spoke with the media about his first goal.
“It’s a great feeling, obviously,” the Calgary native said. “It’s good to get that first one out of the way and now, I can just kind of play my game and not have to worry about that. But, you know, we’re trying to win hockey games here and didn’t get that, so that’s a little bit disappointing.”
While the loss may have been disappointing, the Kings nonetheless made progress from Friday night, playing a better game overall, with a more energetic effort.
“Yeah, for sure. We had a lot of adjustments we had to make,” Anderson-Dolan noted. “Just shutting down their speed, they’re an offensive team, but, you know, one thing that we never, never lacked is character and we didn’t the other night. We were sticking in there and fighting even when we were down by a few and it showed tonight, being able to bounce back from that and make those adjustments and, you know, obviously, a much closer game. Just have to– you know, a couple here and there and that’s a difference in the game.”
Prior to Friday’s game, Anderson-Dolan spent a good amount of time on the Kings’ taxi squad, filling the media in and how it benefited him.
“Just being around the guys and practicing with them every day and getting that comfort level on the ice and just, you know, taking reps with so that when you come in, it’s a little bit different,” the former Spokane Chief explained. “Last year, [I] was coming up from the AHL and you come up to the NHL, you’re not used to taking reps and it’s a little bit different but being here the whole time and taking practices with the guys and being used to that speed and just being familiar with the guys.
“When you get in the game, that chemistry build and practice, it shows on the ice when it matters. So, definitely, a lot easier transition when you’re, you know, on the ice with the guys every day and then coming into the lineup. It makes it a lot easier.”
Capping off an outing with his first-career goal, Jaret Anderson-Dolan logged 11:30 of total ice time on Sunday. So, while some may argue that he’s in the lineup because of the COVID protocol that has taken Andreas Athanasiou and Blake Lizotte out of the lineup, the 21-year-old is nonetheless making the most of his opportunities in the Kings lineup thus far.
Up next is a two-game set with the San Jose Sharks back at STAPLES Center, and you can expect Jaret Anderson-Dolan to be on full display once again. Hey, if it means halting a four-game losing skid, J.A.D. may just have to add to his recent success.