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Quote Roundup: Pens-Preds

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Here's what the Pens - and former Pen Nick Bonino - were saying in the locker room heading into their Stanley Cup Final rematch with the Nashville Predators.

On facing their old teammate Nick Bonino:

Crosby: "I think we've got a pretty good idea of the way he plays. He's really smart. He's good in and around the net. Great hands. Sees the ice well. So I'm not sure what the matchups are going to be, but everyone should be pretty familiar with each other, that's for sure."

Hagelin: "We went to dinner last night. I sat next to him for two years, ever since I got traded here. So he was a guy I talked to a lot and obviously miss him, but he's onto a new adventure. It'll be fun (playing against him). He's a competitive guy. Playing so much with him, I should know some of his tendencies and looking forward to it."

Cole: "He's a great hockey player. He's got great hands in tight and he's a great passer. Just a really smart player. It's going to be a challenge for sure, as we'd love to still have him here. We're happy for him but we know we certainly miss him."

On bouncing back from Thursday's 10-1 loss in Chicago:

Crosby: "I think you just move on. You don't really need to dwell on it. I think the things that we need to improve on, I think are the same regardless of if the game was 10-1 or 5-1. It's still kind of the same things that we need to clean up. I think it's a good lesson for us and maybe if it would've been a closer game we might not have seen the things that might need to be addressed. As far as our game, there's definitely some things we've got to clean up."

Rust: "Any time a game like that happens it's kind of eye-opening. There's a lot of parts of our game that needs to be better, so we need to address those and move on."

Cole: "I think forgetting about it is probably the best way to start. It's not easy, that one certainly stings, but dwelling on it I don't think is going to make it any better. We need to step back, learn from it, figure out why it happened and go back at it. We're playing another great team tonight in Nashville, and it's really a good challenge. The quicker we can move past it and move onto this game at hand I think we'll be good."

On trying to change momentum when nothing's going right in a game like Thursday's:

Cole: "We didn't play well, they played well, that's pretty much what it boils down to. A lot of their chances are going in, and it's like what is going on right now, you're almost surprised by it. Before you know it it's 4-0, 5-0, and it's like what is going on right now. What I think as a team, what we've been good at in the past, is grabbing that momentum and trying to respond quicker and certainly not let it compound, which we did. Hopefully that's a lesson that we can learn and keep that moving forward."

Schultz: "Just get pucks deep. Try to get some puck possession, you get momentum obviously when you do that. So we're trying to improve tonight."

On the rematch with Nashville:

Sullivan: "Well, they're a great team, there's no doubt about it. They're very well-coached, they're a deep team. The strength of their team is on their blue line, they certainly have as good of a defense core as there is in the league, offensively and defensively. They generate a lot of offense from their back end, both off the rush, and in zone. It's a matter of making sure we take care of the puck, that we have an element of physicality to our game so we're making sure we are making them have to fight for ice off the rush. We have to reload in that offensive zone, get on the right side of people to make sure we make it difficult for them. We have so much respect for how good this team is. I'm sure both teams are coming off losses where they would like to respond, so it'd expect it to be a hard fought game tonight."

Bonino: "It should be an emotional night for both teams. The way their season has started and ours, we both need two points and with the matchup last year it's in the back of everyone's head. Both teams should be ready to go. It should be good hockey."

Bonino is always someone we enjoyed talking to with his dry sense of humor and willingness to chirp anyone, particularly Phil Kessel and AT&T SportsNet's Dan Potash. Here's a few gems from his interviews over the last couple of days…

On his mindset entering his first game against Pittsburgh:

"It's nice to get it out of the way early. We play them now and then in November. It's nice to get it out of the way so I don't have to talk to Potash anymore. It's a blessing."

On if there's anyone in particular he's looking forward to going up against:

"I'd like to get in Phil's face a bit."

On Phil's flow:

"I'm not one to comment on hair. He looks good."

And on a more serious note, here's Bonino reflecting on his time in Pittsburgh…"

"It was pretty fun. We won a lot of games. We did what we did and made memories that we'll have forever. I'll always be thankful to the organization. The fans here were great. It was a really fun time.

"I had a child here. I won two Cups here. It will always be one of my favorite places, but I have to turn the page."

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