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Off-Day, May 16 quotes: Mike Richards

NHL.com @NHL
Q.  If Kimmo, assuming Kimmo comes back, how much does that free up forwards at all to be a little more aggressive offensively?  I mean, obviously you want to back check him and play the defense and all that, but does it allow you to take an extra rush and make an extra chance because he's there?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  No, I don't think we want to get into taking chances and giving up on man rushes.  But Kimmo always seems to be in the right spot at the right time.  He's great at making that first pass out of the zone.  So it just helps us, helps our offense better that we don't have to take rushes because we can carry the puck up or take chances and carry the puck up a lot smoother when [] the puck's the first pass is on the tape all the time, and the right decision is made.

Q.  You guys being able to control the game physically, and I guess all that stuff after the whistle may be part of it.  Is it part of the game plan to try to slow it down and frustrate them with all the physical play that you guys have been able to do?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  We've wanted to play physical, but I don't think it's us that is creating all the scrums after the whistle.  We know when we go into scrums that we're not going to get the power play coming out of there, so we want to stay away from those as much as possible.
   
But being physical is a huge part of our game.

Q.  Did you sense that Hatcher and perhaps yourself really frustrated Sidney last night?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  I thought we did well as a team shutting them down.  I don't think you can frustrate Sid too much.  He's such a skilled player, and he's so used to getting picked on, I guess.  People going after him physically and verbally.  So you're not going to frustrate him too much.  But as a group I thought we did a good job shutting him down.

Q.  You guys know that they've played really well at home, what are some of the challenges that you face, win eight big games like that when they haven't lost in such a long time at home?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  Well, I think the biggest thing is the match ups and getting who you want on the ice against certain players.  I think in the first couple of games they did a good job getting Malkin on the ice against different people.  I mean, they feed off the energy of the crowd and hopefully we can go in there on Sunday and try to eliminate the crowd and have the start that we had the other night.

Q.  The line changes that John made, does that help you in terms of match ups when you go to Pittsburgh?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  I think it does.  I think we have four solid lines that can compete against really anybody on Pittsburgh.  And I'm sure that they feel the same way.  With Danny playing on the wing, I know it helps out big time on the face off circles, both him doing on his forehand side, and me on my forehand or my backhand.  So just when you have the puck it's obviously a lot better than trying to chase it, too.

Q.  Since you brought it up a few minutes ago, what exactly happened with Crosby in that last little scrum off the face off toward the end of the game?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  I was trying to go forward with the puck.  They had two guys set up far, so I didn't want to get into that side.  My defense, I didn't want them right up against the winger, too, so he could push it forward.  So I was just trying to go through with the puck.  I think that he was thinking I was trying to slash his ankles, but, whatever (laughing).

Q.  When you get down 3 0, what is the emotional    does a team feel a little less pressure even though you're up against it?  Do you sort of play with the idea that, you know, it's not quite a tight series now.  We have nothing to lose?
   
MIKE RICHARDS:  Yeah, I think so.  Everyone around the dressing room yesterday was very laid back.  Really we just had to go out there and play a game and win.  No one really expected us to.  So it's not like we had a lot of pressure.  Our team has been doing that all year, just making life difficult on us going from second to 10th or 11th spot, and then back to 6.  And then 3 1, Washington.  All of a sudden, 3 3.  We don't like to do things easy on ourselves, but it seems we always play our best when our backs are against the wall.



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