Q. How about you, what did you see there in the last few seconds. Take us through it.
SIDNEY CROSBY: Had a chance there on the side of the net. I don't know if it was [Marian Hossa] Hoss or who it was. But it slipped in the crease.
Q. Was that one of your desperation efforts at the end; you certainly left it all on the ice?
SIDNEY CROSBY: You have to give credit to the guys and try to leave it all out there and obviously we came up short.
Q. Sid, reaction to the fans?
SIDNEY CROSBY: They've been great all year. We appreciate their support. And it doesn't make it any easier for sure. But they stuck through with us all season, and a long time before that, and so we appreciate it.
Q. In the heat of the loss can you put in perspective what has been accomplished this year?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Not right now. I mean it's pretty tough. It's not a fun time. But we will remember this feeling, that's for sure.
Q. Do you think a quicker start would have made a difference?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Maybe. We just got a power play there and capitalized on it. But even after that, we had a couple of power plays. And that one hurt going into the third. But we still had our chances. So that's the way it goes sometimes and somebody's gotta lose.
Q. (Question off Microphone).
SIDNEY CROSBY: They're strong. There's no doubt. There's a reason why they're the champions. And they played well.
Q. Can you talk about Zetterberg's play in the series?
SIDNEY CROSBY: He played well. And obviously this series he was a big player.
Q. You guys were that close in these games.
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don't know. I haven't experienced the Stanley Cup Finals. I can't tell you, but it's not a feeling.
Q. Can you put it in perspective how far this team has come in such a short time?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, we've come a long way, that's for sure. But it doesn't make it any easier, that's for sure.
Q. Marc-Andre was not happy with the second and third goals. What did you say to him when you came in?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don't think really anything needs to be said. Without him we wouldn't be in this position. So it's without him we wouldn't be here.
Q. Right at the end of the game you had a shot of it going in; you were this close.
SIDNEY CROSBY: We kept battling, so I thought the chance might have been there. But just unfortunately it didn't go in.
Q. You go down fighting, taking it literally to the last second of the game.
SIDNEY CROSBY: That's the way we played all season. And the guys have been through a lot and battled through it and it doesn't surprise me that the guys never gave up.
Q. Can you talk about the future of the core of this team and some guys have to be signed?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Like you said, we've got a great group. And hopefully we can keep it together. But it's a tough thing.
Q. Can you talk about the two games in Detroit, you rallied?
SIDNEY CROSBY: We probably didn't play as well as we wanted to there. We could step up our game a bit. Coming back here we were pretty confident that we put ourselves back in the series, and winning that one in Detroit, the last game definitely gave us that momentum coming back here and just couldn't get that back.
Q. They say it only takes an inch.
SIDNEY CROSBY: The last play is an example.
Q. (Question off Microphone)
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don't think anybody likes to lose. Obviously we've come a long way. But we came here to win. So it's still tough.
Q. (Question off Microphone)
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think it was tough. I don't think anybody left anything out there -- we left everything out there. It wasn't one of those things where we didn't leave everything out there and didn't give it our all.
Q. Even broken bones, broken noses, is that what this takes, what the championship takes?
SIDNEY CROSBY: That's the character of our team. Like I said, everyone did what they could.
Q. Is your ankle bothering you, anything else?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Just bumps and bruises. Nothing is broken.
Q. Did you think that last shot was going in?
SIDNEY CROSBY: As fast as I can cycle across the goal crease, I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure how much time was left or anything like that either. But it didn't go.
Q. It took a while for you guys to get comfortable in the series and the final circumstances, do you feel like you were playing better at the end than you were at the beginning?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, I think as the series went on we got better. But I think in Game 1, if you look at Ottawa last year, in Game 1 of this series I thought we were guilty of maybe trying too hard of running around, maybe working too hard. Not working smart, especially in Game 1. We found that if we played our positions we had a better chance if we did that. We're obviously learning from that. But after Game 1 I think we got our feet under us pretty well.
MARIO LEMIEUX: They've gained some experience. I'm sure next time they'll be better.
Q. You know what the experience is like. These guys wore T-shirts that said, sacrifice all playoffs. I know there were bumps and bruises and broken bones and broken noses; do you think they learned what it takes physically and mentally to get to this point for the future?
MARIO LEMIEUX: I think so. I think throughout the year they really have come together, and especially to get to the Finals. It's not easy. Last time we did it was a long time ago. And it's for good reasons.
It takes a lot of character, a lot of sacrifices from the whole team to get to the finals. And it shows you how difficult it is to win it. This is the toughest trophy to win in all of sports. And just make the strides that we have made over the last three years is pretty incredible.
We've come a long way. And I'm sure next time Sid gets there and [Evgeni] Malkin and all these guys, they'll know what to do, hopefully.
Q. Do you think yourself that you would want to be out there with your team tonight?
MARIO LEMIEUX: No, I can't do it anymore. So it didn't cross my mind. But it's exciting for all of us, the players and the fans and Pittsburgh, the ownership. And like I said, we've come a long way in a short period of time. I was disappointed not to win once you see the Cup this close. But we've played a great team, a great organization, very classy organization. And they deserve to win.
But hopefully this will teach our young kids how to win. Hopefully next time we'll do much better.
Q. When they came back in the last game, did you think: Hey, we have a chance to win this?
MARIO LEMIEUX: Absolutely. The way we came back and showed character in Game 5, and winning in three overtimes, I thought we had a chance to win tonight and take it to Game 7.
Q. What about Fleury's play in the series?
MARIO LEMIEUX: Not just the series, but the whole playoffs. He's been our best player and gave us a chance to win.
Q. (Question off Microphone)?
MARIO LEMIEUX: It's going to be a challenge for Ray this year to keep our team together. With the salary cap here now, you have to make choices and make sure that you build your team according to the salary cap and make some tough decisions, which I assume we're going to face in the future with the young talented players we have in Pittsburgh. It's going to be difficult to make it all work. But there's been great lessons there. We really built this team to give us a chance to win this. I'm sure we'll make the right decisions at the right time.
But now it's time to reflect on a great year, and I'm sure in a couple of weeks, a few weeks it's going to be pretty busy.
Q. What's been wrong with Malkin through the series?
MARIO LEMIEUX: I thought he had a great playoff. It's tough to get to the end. It's two months of grind. And I've been there before, and it's always difficult to get to the end. You need a lot of support. When you play in Russia, you're playing 40, 50 games a year. Now going through two months of grind, and it's his second year of doing it, plus in the playoffs.