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Penguins Roundup: 4/17/15

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens held an off-ice workout on Friday afternoon prior to Saturday’s Game 2 matchup with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Head coach Mike Johnston and a few players spoke with the media. Here are some key points from that availability.

On the Fourth Line
(Maxim Lapierre) had a lot of energy. He was really in on the forecheck. (Blake Comeau) had a good game. (Nick Spaling) is the type of player that’s good both ways. He’s a really reliable guy. In that line you have a good combination of guys with speed, they were good on the forecheck. Obviously they scored the goal, but I thought generally with the shifts that they played, they really created every shift they were out there. Spaling and ‘Lappy’ were key parts of our penalty kill.

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On the Pens’ 5-on-5 Play
You review the game after. You have the impression when you finish the game and then you get back and take a look at the game. I thought 5-on-5 we did a good job. We can’t take that many penalties, especially in one period, that put ourselves back on our heels and takes our key players out of the game for a while. That was a momentum turner. Then in the second and third I thought we started to take over 5-on-5.

On the Pens’ Discipline
At this time of the year you want to battle, you want to compete. But you have to take it. If something happens in a game where you get hit, you get punched, you get sticked, those types of things, you just have to take it. Your discipline has to be right on line. We know what the refs are going to call. They made it clear what they’re going to call for this playoff series. The standards are similar to the year, but they’re going to hold those standards strict.

On Getting More Shots
We have to do a little bit more as far as the volume of shots. We’ve got to get our shot total up into the 35 range.

On His Strong Game
It was just the excitement of the playoffs. I feel like I put some good games together lately, but haven’t been able to bury my chances. It was nice to get that first one out of the way. I felt good last night, so hopefully that continues.

On Shot Totals
I think the important thing is getting shots on net. That’s what we’re preaching right now, no shot is a bad shot, bad angles, good angles. Everything has a chance to go in. That’s something we want to continue to keep doing.

On Being More Disciplined
That’s something that we talked about, especially the first period. It’s tough to get momentum when you’re in the penalty box killing. I thought our killers did a great job. The one power-play goal they did score, Spaling went down to block and it went right between his legs. That was a tough break. It’s tough to get momentum when you’re in the box that much. Hopefully we can clean that up a little bit and I think we’ll be alright.

On Having the Off-Ice Workout
The playoffs is a different type of game. There is a lot more energy and intensity being used. To get a day off and go for a walk or get a little workout in, get the flush, conserve some energy is big. Watch some videos and have meetings, it’s sometimes good to stay off the ice and rest up.

On Game 1 Takeaway
Besides our slow start we gave ourselves a reason to believe that we could be right there. Five-on-five we played a lot of the way we wanted to play, according to our game plan. We were able to create some opportunities and get some pucks down on (Henrik) Lundqvist with some traffic in front, spend some time in their zone. They’re a good team. They have a lot of depth and are strong in all positions. It’s going to be a challenge. But we think we are right there. We have our own guys that can do the same thing. It’s going to be a good game tomorrow.

On a Better Start
On the road you want to keep it simple and make those smart plays. Some of it is mental, being in the right position and stuff like that. We got the nerves out early on and played a lot stronger as the second and third went on. We’ll just continue to do that.

On His 1st NHL Playoff Game
It was a pretty cool experience. It was tough not getting the win, but for a guy like me that’s never experienced that, that building with that crowd, it was pretty cool to go out there and test your game and your resolve, see what you’re made of out there.

On Pairing with Brian Dumoulin
We’ve been talking about (playing together in the NHL) throughout the year. We’d been playing well in Wilkes-Barre and wondered what it would be like if we got the opportunity to play together and test our game at the NHL level. I don’t think either of us saw that coming in the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It was cool for both of us. We both enjoyed the experience. As far as our play, it was something we build off and keep moving forward with.
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