Here's what the Pens were saying in the locker room heading into Game 6 vs. Washington…
ON LAST YEAR'S GAME 6
Bonino: "It's nice to draw on memories of that but at the same time it's a new season, new team and new situation. I mean, Game 6 wasn't pretty last year. We were up 3-0 and let that lead go. We blew a lead last game, it's something we need to focus on. But at the same time they're a good team. No lead is safe with them and when we do have a lead we have to close."
Hornqvist: "This is a new year, new players. We know the way we have to play to beat these guys. Now we're in front of our own fans. It's going to be a loud building and we'll get some juice from that. We have to make sure we come out hard and take the momentum right away."
Kunitz: "It's the toughest game to win, the final one to close out a team. They're going to come as hard as they can, but if you match that momentum that they have and exceed where they can take it to then you have a better chance of winning. The better we play our game early on will give us a better chance of winning. "
ON WHAT THEY LEARNED FROM GAME 5
Bonino: "Maybe be a little bit more proactive. I think we sat back a little bit and I think you see that a lot in the playoffs, teams trying to hang on and allow the other team to come at them. It's almost human nature to do that. It's tough to reverse the flow there. But if you want to win you have to be able to do that."
Sheary: "I think we just let our foot off the gas a little bit. If we come into the third period with a lead again I think we have to make sure we're trying to play on the offense and trying to keep scoring. I think we had to try and defend a little bit too much and weren't playing to our game and I think they took advantage of that big-time."
ON THE MINDSET FOR TONIGHT
Crosby: "I think just understanding that you have to be desperate. You are playing a desperate team and I think for us, we have to have that same desperation. We want to be better than we were last game and have a lot of motivation coming into tonight."
Rust: "We have to match their desperation and match their level of intensity. It's key, especially at the start. I think that's going to give us a lot of momentum early in the game."
ON STILL BEING IN CONTROL OF THEIR DESTINY
Rust: "We obviously didn't play the way we wanted to by the end of (Game 5), but we are still in a good spot. We still have a chance to do something. It is still a race to four."
Bonino: "I think we just approach it like we need to win. This'll be the hardest they play and this will have to be the hardest we play so far. Obviously we know we're not eliminated if we lose, but I think all our focus is on Game 6 and not on Game 7."
ON BEING BACK AT HOME
Bonino: "It's always fun playing here. I think last year it was Game 7 against Tampa, you could barely hear yourself think in here. I expect the same atmosphere tonight and we're always excited to play in front of them for sure."
Rust: "I think for us it gives us a lot of confidence knowing we have the crowd behind us. We have been successful here."
ON SHUFFLING LINES
Bonino: "I've played with everyone but Sid and Geno this year. A little bit more familiar with Phil and Haggy, but if we could find some of that scoring touch we had in the playoffs last year, we'd be happy."
Kunitz: "That's the way the game is now. There aren't too many lines that stay together. We all have a willingness to go out and help our team win. When coach calls on someone because of injury we all fill in where need be. We have to play a better team game, hopefully for 60 minutes and get the win."
Sheary: "I think the biggest thing is the D pairing you're up against. You play a little bit differently depending on who you're out there against. But other than that, I think you're just approaching it as you would any other game. I think it's no different where you are."
ON BEING SHORT DEFENSEMEN AND HELPING THEM OUT
Crosby: "This is something we have dealt with all year. Guys who have come in have done a good job. I think collectively, we have done a good job rallying around that. I think that is just the reality of playoff hockey and we have had a lot of practice in that area, so hopefully it helps us here tonight."
Rust: "The best defense is a good offense. Getting that puck in the offensive zone is going to help wear them down a little bit and take their energy that they can't play in the offensive zone with. I think just getting them in the offensive zone and trying to wear them down a little bit, trying to hang onto pucks a little more-that is going to be big for us."
NOTE: With Trevor Daley ruled out for tonight it looks like Chad Ruhwedel will slot in. Here's what he had to say about potentially seeing his first game action since April 6 at New Jersey…
Ruhwedel: "It's going to take a shift to get back to full game speed, but once that first shift's started, then the rest will take care of itself. … It's a high stakes game and I think the adrenaline will take care of itself."