Q. Ryan, what are your last memories of the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh?
RYAN MALONE: I think it was '93 when the Islanders came off the two on one and buried it. I think it would be the three peat everyone was hoping for. I remember the other Cups as well, but for whatever reason the last one sticks out in my mind, be part of the team now. I think four years ago where we were and Craig rebuilding the team.
He did a great job. And Ray [Shero] coming out and the extra pieces. The fans have been patient. And I think so far so good.
Q. Mark, can you talk about the series early in the second period, I think it was Briere and Hartnell, what it did for your confidence and talk about that play.
MARC ANDRE FLEURY: I was too busy. It was sometimes you don't see so much action. But to make two saves, helps me to stay more focused in the game.
Q. Ryan, you were in the dressing room a couple of minutes ago. Were you surprised to see Mario [Lemieux]? What did he say to you?
RYAN MALONE: Good job. I think playing with him in my early years was a big privilege. Now I think for any hockey player not playing and watching it's a little tough. And you always wish you were out there. But I think Mario plays a big part in the team. We all look up to him still.
And he's always led by example. And I think he's passed that along to a lot of guys.
Q. Ryan, you mentioned the lean years and because of the fact this was against Philadelphia, do all these circumstances make it extra special to be playing for the Cup now?
RYAN MALONE: I don't think it really matters who we beat in the first three rounds, as long as we kind of get there and give ourselves a chance in the next round here. We realize we've got a tough test in front of us, still, and our goal wasn't to get there. Our goal is to get the whole thing done.
We have to be refocused now, make sure we're sharp in practice and be ready in the next level to take it.
Q. Sidney, did you expect success in terms of going to the Stanley Cup to come this quickly?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don't think we had any expectations as far as I was concerned. I think we did everything in our control as players to have the right attitude and to learn as much as we could, as quick as we could. We're lucky to have some mix of guys with veterans and younger guys that have really shown they can play even early on in their careers.
So having that mix has helped us. And I think we've set some high standards for ourselves.
Q. Sidney, can you talk about the play when you back checked and set up the goal at the other end, what you saw, what you were thinking?
SIDNEY CROSBY: When I came back, I was the closest guy to Richards. So I just did my best to get my stick on him.
And I don't think he expected somebody to be coming back. So I didn't have to put much weight on my stick. I was able to just poke it away. And I saw Hossa coming up behind me, tried to leave it for him, showed some great speed coming down the ice. Gave it to Max [Talbot] there, broke up the play and put it to him up front.
Q. Talk about some of the emotions you're feeling, being four wins away from winning the Stanley Cup?
RYAN MALONE: I think I don't know if it set in or not, but I think, Game 1, everyone's going to be excited. And it's what you play hockey for is to put yourself in this situation.
I think everyone dreamt about it as a hockey player, to get a chance now to battle for the best prize there is out there. So it's going to be fun. I think we're all excited to get going.
Q. Sidney, in walking through the stands en route to the locker room, you could hear about 17,132 people screaming at you not to touch the trophy. Did you get an assist from your other players in that regard? Could you hear any of that? How cognizant of that were you as you were approaching the trophy?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, I was aware of it. I've watched a lot of Stanley Cup playoff games. You don't see too many guys touch it. And made sure, with couple of the guys who have been through it before, Sykora, they all gave me a heads up, for sure. And it's a good feeling to go up there.
But we all realized that's not the one we want to be holding.
Q. Sidney, could you believe when you slipped on the Penguins Jersey on July 30th, 2005, in Ottawa that last than three years ago you would be going to the Stanley Cup at the age of 20?
SIDNEY CROSBY: No, probably not. I think coming in here I was just so focused on trying to have a good first year, let alone going to the Cup final this quickly with the amount of youth we've had.
Now you look at the second half of my first year, a lot of our first years, and it was pretty difficult. But we've come a long way, and we've worked hard for it and earned it and this is a great opportunity for us all.
Q. I know you guys are watching the other series, any thoughts on a potential opponent? Is there a better match up one way or the other, somebody you'd like to play?
RYAN MALONE: I don't think it matters too much. I think we have to make sure we're playing our game and playing our type of hockey. I think we were playing the way we want to play. We like our chances.
I don't think we played Detroit. I think exhibition games early in the year.
So, no, Dallas, we're not too familiar with either team. So we just have to make sure we have our A game going in there going in there for Game 1 and coaches will make the adjustments as needed. But it's pretty simple hockey come playoff time. And just gotta make sure we have our A game.
Q. Ryan, you guys were part of the '03/'04 team. Things were pretty bad here. How big a difference is it going through a season like that to where you are right now?
MARC ANDRE FLEURY: I think everything is a lot more fun. Everybody has adjusted to it. I guess everyone is always happy and it's pretty cool that altogether we lived those tough days. And I think everybody improved together. As a team we're winning, so it's big fun.
Q. Ryan, you're pretty cool about all this, but you grew up here. You watched the Penguins your whole life. You just had one of your best games and the biggest game. This must be really cool for you.
RYAN MALONE: Yeah, I mean I think since day one of training camp, getting a shot to make the team was a great circumstance for myself.
I think to be where I am right now, I think Fleury was saying we all worked hard together. When you have all 20 guys on the ice pulling in the same direction and trying to make a difference, it's the biggest thing. Personally, you go out there, try to win your one on one battles and just battle hard and sometimes you get the bounces.
So I think personally it wasn't really, I don't know, expecting too much; you just want to make sure you're playing your game and everything else falls into place. We still have a long way to go. So there's nothing to celebrate, that's for sure.
Q. Your team was so powerful these playoffs. Did you think, coming in after learning in only four games last year that, you could put together a run like you put together this one?
COACH THERRIEN: You always approach the playoff with a lot of confidence. And the confidence that we had is the way that we've been finishing the year the last two months I thought we played some great hockey.
Not only offensively, but defensively, too, as well. The way Marc Andre Fleury was playing, too. There was no doubt that we were approaching every single game with a lot of confidence. But to be quite honest, when we start the playoffs, we're not thinking about the Stanley Cup final. Our main focus was on the first round, and that was our philosophy with that young group.
I'm not a big fan to look on top of the mountain when there's a lot of steps to be made. And the next one, it's another step.
Q. Can you talk about your team's ability to finish, especially after such a tough game in Philadelphia on the other night?
COACH THERRIEN: Well, we didn't play our best game. We didn't deserve to win that game. And for the first half of the game I don't think we were sharp. Our focus was not there. But we finished a game like we're supposed to play.
We brought momentum today. We approach it with the team, and I thought today we set the tone right from the start. We deserved to win. 95 percent of those games we played so hard in the playoff it's about deserving, and those guys deserved to win most of those hockey games with the result we got.
Today it was not any difference. I thought we set the tone. We were really sharp offensively. We concentrate well defensively. When there were a few breakdowns, Fleury was outstanding.
Q. Was there an approximate point where you didn't have to keep harping the system and selling the system, where you and the staff realized, hey, they're getting it, they're playing the way we want them to play, we've kind of turned the corner here?
COACH THERRIEN: Well, since day one, we've been working with those guys. We've been teaching them the way that we think that we're going to have success. And they buy into it. They believe in it. And they know when they execute what we're supposed to do, we get a chance to get success. That goes from your leaders, when your leaders buy into it, the rest will follow.
And their leaders, there's no doubt that they're buying into the way we're supposed to play.
Q. Given that you have your series done right now, how big an advantage is it with Dallas and Detroit still going at it right now?
COACH THERRIEN: Well, we're going to have extra days to rest. And we all know that's really demanding to play playoff hockey.
Whoever we're going to play against, one thing we know we're going to play against a good hockey team. But we figure we're a good hockey team as well, too.
So the next few days, like tomorrow's a day off and we'll see what's going to be the result tomorrow night. We're not quite sure yet when we're going to start the next round, the final. But one thing I know we're going to be well prepared.
Q. Would you describe your and your team's lack of finals experience a liability?
COACH THERRIEN: We don't have much experience. But we compensate with a lot of things. We compensate with passion. We play a mature game for a young team. When you put those two together, then this is a team who wants to learn. And they're ready to learn and they are making those sacrifices to learn.
And we're coming from a long way. And short the amount of experience we got last year gave a lot of confidence to the players. They know what they were expecting when we started the playoffs. And I believe Ray Shero did a great job. We're missing some piece of the puzzle, the trading deadline. It was crucial for us. And all those three guys that we brought in, they really buy in right away to the team concept and with the result that we got.