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Quote Roundup: Game 1 (Capitals)

by Pens writing staff @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Here's what the Pens were saying in the locker room at Verizon Center heading into Game 1 against Washington…

ON FINALLY GETTING THIS SERIES STARTED

Crosby: "I think as far as our situation, we've been waiting so we're excited just to get out there and start playing again. I think that's the thing, is that all of your motivation has been playing, so you've got to get back out there and back into the rhythm."

Malkin: "We know it's a great team. They have a good balanced team and four good lines. But every game is exciting. We start tonight, I can't wait. It's a good challenge for us. If we want to win the Stanley Cup again, we need to beat Washington for sure. It's the best team in the league and a big test for us."

Cole: "Definitely excited. Definitely ready. It's crazy, you get pretty tired playing every other night - more than that - for months and then you get five days off and it feels like forever. Everyone in here is very excited and ready for the huge challenge that the best team in the league will offer."

Sullivan: "I think we're excited. I think we're excited about the opportunity. I think we understand it's going to be a big challenge. We have to go out and earn every inch out there. That's the greatest thing about our sport, the greatest thing about our game. But I think our players are excited for the opportunity to play. They've earned this opportunity to get to the second round. But we also understand that we have to continue to earn. And so I think our players are really excited about this opportunity, we have a lot of respect for Washington and how good of a team they are. But we believe we're a good team as well."

ON THEY LEARNED FROM LAST YEAR'S SERIES

Hornqvist: "I think just stay with it. I think for a few games, we didn't play our best, but we found a way to win. I remember Game 3, they were all over us and we found a way to win. We were up a few goals there in Game 6 too and they found a way to come back and got a 5-on-3 to win the game and we came back and won in overtime. If they scored a goal there, it might be a different story. Stay in the moment, it doesn't matter how low you are going to go. You are going to have ups and downs, you need to focus and make the most of your shifts."

Cullen: "Well, it was a challenging series. It was a big series for us to get past them. Obviously the season they had last year, much like this year, it was a big deal for us beating them on our way to winning it. Once again, it'll be a huge challenge. They had another great season and added some more to what they had last year, so we know it's going to be a tall order."

ON THE CHALLENGE THE PENS D ARE FACING

Cole: "They're a great team. They're going to create a lot. They're a team that can really hurt you. They're very dangerous when they do get those chances. The ability to try and limit those and the ability to try to defuse those as best we can is going to be key. I don't know if there's one thing you can say that will stop them from getting chances, but still try to limit them for sure."

Maatta: "I think they are a good forechecking team, same as against Columbus. I think they produce a lot off their forecheck. It is part of our game, just being good at breakouts and trying to get out of our zone clean. You can produce a lot of good offense being a good breakout team. We are obviously going to try to do that."

ON HAVING BETTER STARTS

Sheary: "I think it's about being ready to play. If we come prepared and stick to our game plan early on and make the simple plays as opposed to maybe high-risk, I think we'll be okay. I think it's important in this series, especially, to come out hard."

Cole: "It's about grabbing that momentum early and trying to run with it and setting up a good foundation for the rest of the game. Regardless of who's starting, we need to make sure we grab that quickly and the second line that's going over, keep that. The third line, the fourth line, really kind of build on each one of those shifts rather than just having a good starting shift and the next four or five not being very good. The ability for us to do that and get better at that is going to be huge, I think."

ON THE POWER PLAY

Crosby: "It's a new series, so we want to carry that momentum on. But there will be different challenges we'll have to face from the way that they kill, but I think the fact that special teams are important on both sides, hopefully our power play can help us and give us some momentum. It was big in the first round, so hopefully we continue that."

Malkin: "We know it's playoffs, we know we're not going to get five or six or seven power plays. We know it's just like one or two. We need to be ready, every power play is very important. We need to understand if you score on the power play, you have a great chance to win. We understand that, we have great experience from last year, we have experience in the first round. I think we played good in the first round. And just do the right things - win faceoffs, play the right positions, no turnovers, break out, we understand and we understand how big Washington's power play is too. Just play right. I think we had a great power play in the first round and just keep going at the same level."

ON MALKIN BEING LEFT OUT OF THE SID VS. OVI DISCUSSION

Malkin: "It's good for me, I try to be quiet (laughs). I just to play. I read lots about it, about Sid and Ovi. They start the same year, play for the Calder Trophy and always the best two players in the league. But I try to show my best game. I like to be quiet. I just try to not be quiet on the ice."

Fleury: "Yeah, obviously Geno has been one of the best players in the league since he has came in. He's a huge asset to our team. If he would rather be left out of it and Sid only has to deal with it, it's a good thing for Geno (laughs)."

SNAP SHOTS…

Hornqvist on if he feels more pressure to score playing with Crosby and Guentzel: "Yeah for sure. We have to score. When you are on the top two lines, you have to produce. If we do that, our chance to win the series is really high. That's what you like as a player, to have that kind of pressure on you. You want to play your best game when the stakes are higher."

Bonino on how much they pay attention to who's on the ice: "You have to against some teams. You have to against this team. They have guys that like to cut to the middle and guys that like to pull up and come down the wing and shoot. It helps when you know your opposition, but at some point you have to just play and do what you need to do and let them worry about you."

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