Washington's Alex Ovechkin
and Eric Fehr
met the media after Saturday's 3-1 Winter Classic win at Heinz Field. Here's the transcript from his press conference.
Q. Eric, obviously a big night for you, two goals. Can you just talk about what happened on both of them?
ERIC FEHR: The first one I think Johansson turned the puck over behind the net and I just went in front and got a good pass and was able to put it in. The second one, I saw Chimer had the puck and the D was stepping up, so I just tried to go for a rush and Chimer made a good pass.
Q. Alex, it played out pretty good on TV. It was a really good look, prime time game. Was it as magnificent to play in as it was to watch?
ALEX OVECHKIN: I think both teams were just so excited, and it was pretty fun. The first period was good weather. The second period was a little bit of rain, and third period was lots of rain. So it was kind of - weather changed all the time and we handled it, and it was a pretty good game.
Q. Eric, this was sort of billed as a match of superstars with Ovie and Sid. Were you happy to be one of the lesser lights to put your stamp on the game?
ERIC FEHR: I was definitely happy I could score. That's for sure. I felt good. The first one felt unbelievable. But we had a good lead going in the third there. We just wanted to play defense, and fortunately I was able to get that second one. But we weren't really trying to go for offense at that point.
Q. For both of you, how important was it to keep things simple with the rain? And sort of talk about how that's what you guys have been focusing on lately, too?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, when we get the lead, I think the whole team was concentrating, getting the puck to the deep and play more defensive. And "O" line did a great job. We had the puck, crossed the red line, get the puck in deep. If we have a chance to go on the attack, we make a simple play and you see when Fehr scored the second goal, it was tic-tac-toe. Chimer, he's pretty good wrist shot guy.
ERIC FEHR: It was just important for us to try to get every puck deep. As you could see, pucks were bouncing everywhere. Sometimes they're sticking on the ice. You didn't want to lose the puck at the wrong time, just making sure pucks were getting out of the zone. It was really tough to make any passes out there.
Q. Talk about this win. It's been a tough month. You've walked into Pittsburgh, 65,000 fans. Talk about what this win will do for you, maybe springboard you in the second half?
ALEX OVECHKIN: You can see, you can hear when we score goals how many people was fans of Washington. I can see a thousand people in one spot, a thousand people upstairs, it was really unbelievable. When it was the National Anthem, and they are screaming, like it was unbelievable. And the fans support us all over the place. So it's good.
ERIC FEHR: It was a tough start to the HBO series. We' were in a bit of a losing streak, but I think it finished well for us, so we're pretty happy with it.
Q. Eric, talk about Semyon Varlamov. I think the conditions were probably the worst for the goalies, but seemed like he had a pretty good night.
ERIC FEHR: He played really well. Seemed like he was seeing the pucks. You could tell they were trying to get traffic in front. Our defense did a really good job of boxing out and giving him an opportunity to see most of the shots.
Q. Eric, can you talk about the vibe coming out under the lights, the big crowd, just what it was like?
ERIC FEHR: It felt unbelievable. The first time we came out for the first period there, the fans were loud and it was just everything you kind of dreamed of. It was a perfect night. Nice and dark outside, with the lights, it was great.
Q. Alex, I was going to ask a similar question. You talked the other night how you might be nervous, might be shaking a little bit. How did you feel when you walked out there, saw what was out there?
ALEX OVECHKIN: It was one of the best feelings in my life. Again, when you see it's sold out, it's like I can't imagine when football players play every game like this. It's unbelievable.
And it's kind of the thing, what you want to do all the time. Go out and play like this all the time.
And your family watching, your friends. And a million people watching you. When you get success, you get two points, you get excited and you just feel good about yourself and about your team.