The Pens host the Columbus Blue Jackets for Game Two of their First Round series on Friday night at PPG Paints Arena.
Here's what the players and their coach had to say heading into the matchup…
On if they can carry momentum from Game One into Game Two:
Conor Sheary: "It's important. You can use it as momentum. Especially on our home ice, we don't want to let them take one on our ice. It is important. We worked hard for that. We want to come out tonight with a good start and make sure we're ready to play."
Bryan Rust: "Just kind of try to build off the things we did well and kind of learn from the video we see. We had a few stretches where we weren't that great and we have to try and learn from those and make a full 60-minute effort."
Brian Dumoulin: "I think our start is important. They got off to a good start last time. I think discipline is obviously key. I think only taking two penalties last game helped us. Any time they get on the power play, they've got a good power play, and they can get a lot of momentum from that. Discipline, especially early on, is going to help us get some momentum early."
On the response they expect from Columbus:
Sidney Crosby: "Desperation level increases every game. I think that they would be happy with getting one here. We have to make sure we turn the page and make sure we are ready for a desperate team."
Sheary: "I think they had a really good first period against us, so maybe they'll stick to what they did in that period. I think from our standpoint, we just want to come out with a good start."
Rust: "I think they're just going to establish the way they want to play and we've got to kind of try to combat that and try to get to our game."
Odds and ends…
Marc-Andre Fleury on what he's learned from the adversities he's faced:
"I learned how to relax a bit and to handle situations. I've worked with a sports psychiatrist and it's been helping and the next few years when we played against the Rangers, that (2015) season went pretty well."
Phil Kessel on his performance in Game 1:
"Goals come and go. I've been like that for my career. You get cold or you get hot and it's just kind of how it is. So I never really worry too much about it. Obviously you've got to bring a little more (in the playoffs). Your game has to rise to the level of the games. It becomes a little faster and harder game out there. The few times I get in the postseason, I've always tried to bring my A game and I think so far it's been alright."
Mike Sullivan on trying not to overcoach his team: "I think it can happen on the power play a lot if you're not careful, especially with the group we have, more specifically because they're a very instinctive group. Sometimes, if we're not careful, we can get in the way of that process. You try to offer solutions and point out certain aspects of our opponent's penalty kill and say 'hey, you might be able to take advantage of this.' But you don't want to turn them into robots out there, and that's the fine line. One of the greatest things about our game is that it's instinctive play. It's a players' game. It's not really a chess match. It never happens on the ice how we draw it up in the room or on the rink board. So I think it's a players' ability to be instinctive and see things in a timely fashion and be able to execute that separates the best from others. As coaches, sometimes when you're trying to coach offense, I think the offensive side of the game is the most difficult side to coach for that reason because there's always that fine line between structure so that we can be predictable for one another and allowing for that instinctive play so players can be at their best."
Brian Dumoulin on why the 'just play' mentality works so well under Sullivan:
"I think he stresses it and he talks about it a lot. It's not something that he just blows under the rug. He knows how important it is to this team, especially against these guys. They're going to play us hard, they're going to be at the front of the net, so it's important for us to just kind of play the game and worry about whistle to whistle."
Jake Guentzel on making his playoff debut in Game One:
"A lot of nerves. A lot of excitement. It is good to get the first game out of the way and hopefully go from there."
And finally, Sullivan's remarks on Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who passed away on Thursday…
"I haven't had the privilege to know him. I did meet him a year ago at... I believe it was the Dapper Dan awards night. So, I did have the privilege to meet him once, but I did not have the privilege to know him. But I have read a lot about him and listened to people like David Morehouse and people that are more familiar with him speak of him, and he just seems like a person that personifies everything that is right with pro sports. He seemed to carry himself in such a professional way, with humility and a selfless man. I think we can all learn from his legacy. Certainly I know that the city of Pittsburgh is very lucky to have the affiliation with someone with his stature."