Here's what the Pens were saying in the locker room heading into their matchup with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden…
ON THE STRUGGLING RANGERS
Sullivan: "I think they're a really good hockey team. They haven't had the start that they would have liked, but the season is still really young and they've got a really good hockey team. They have good players, their power play has been pretty good for them. So we know that they're going to have an effort with a lot of urgency tonight. So we're going to have to be prepared to play. We know it's going to be a hard-fought battle."
Sheary: "There's a lot of talent in this league, especially on the Rangers. I think just their record isn't an indication of the kind of team they are. I think we have to be ready to play a hard game and know that any team can come out on any night and win a game. So we have to be ready to play and hopefully come out with a win tonight."
Rust: "For us, we have things we have to focus on and we have things that we want to get better. They're a team that hasn't had the start they wanted to, but they're one of our rivals. I think it's going to be an up-tempo game, it's going to be an intense game and I expect it'll be a fun one."
ON A STRONG START BEING ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TONIGHT
Murray: "Like every game, we want to dictate the pace and want to be on our toes and play fast and play to our strengths and keep them on their heels. They're going to come out flying for sure and they're a motivated group, just like everybody is, I think, when they play against us. We need to be ready for it and we need to just play on our toes and dictate the pace and not let them have their way."
Rust: "I think any time you're on the road in general, trying to get off to a strong start, trying to take the crowd out of it, trying to get a little bit of momentum is big. For us, I know it's key because we're a skating team, we're a fast team and to be able to get the game going in our favor and have it happen early on is big."
Schultz: "We know they're going to be ready to play. Obviously they haven't had the greatest start so we've got to be ready. They're going to be flying and it's going to be a tough building to play in."
ON RUST PUTTING UP POINTS DESPITE MOVING AROUND THE LINEUP
Sullivan: "I just think Rusty plays a simple game. He plays a straight ahead game. His game doesn't change regardless of who we play him with. He plays the same game. He brings a lot of speed. He challenges our opponents with outside speed, with puck pursuit and through his speed, he creates a lot of opportunity not just for himself, but for his linemates. One of the things we love about Rusty is regardless of who we put him with, his game is the same."
Rust: "Guess I just have confidence right now. Just trying to keep sticking to my game that I know makes me successful and building on what I've been trying to build on what I've been trying to build on in the offseason and kind of through the early parts of the season here. Trying to just keep it rolling. Take things one day at a time."
ODDS AND ENDS
Cole on how his dad Doug, who is a dentist, has handled him losing teeth:
"He's handled it pretty well, actually. The one thing he always told me was make sure I wear my mouthguard because I have really nice teeth and not to get them knocked out. Then I go get them knocked out and his reaction was 'oh, it's okay, we can fix them.' So he's been pretty good about it."
I asked if Doug has been wanting to know every detail about the recovery process, and Ian said with a laugh, "He does tend to second-guess everybody in general, so he's been trying to second-guess the doctors and oral surgeons here. But no, he's been great about it, he's asking a lot of questions and asking me to ask questions for him and our doctors here have had great answers. So it's been great."