Here's what the Pens were saying heading into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa...
ON THE MINDSET GOING INTO THIS GAME
Sullivan: "I think we've got a great opportunity in front of us and that's what we've discussed with our players this morning. It's a great opportunity. We've worked so hard to put ourselves in this position all year long and we've got a great opportunity. We've got to embrace it and we've got to get excited about it, and I think our players are excited about it."
Rust: "It's relatively the same. There are a lot of nerves there, a lot of excitement, a lot of intensity. I think the way I have approached these games is the same. They are obviously really big games and it is on a really big stage, but at the end of the day it is another hockey game."
Hagelin: "I think it's just business as usual. Obviously the media is going to be honest about it being Game 7, but for us, we just have to keep pushing, set the tone when we get out there and play the way we can. I think there is a lot of adrenaline to start out the game. It's a fast game out there. The pace is higher than it has been in the past playoffs and you need to just go out there and play. When you are in the moment, you don't really think about what is at stake. You think about winning that next battle."
Maatta: "I think you just want to stay even-keel. Just go out there and play. You know, it's Game 7. It's something you dream about. You just go and try to enjoy it as well. It is something you definitely want to be a part of."
Streit: "It's a Game 7. It's special. We're all really excited. And we can't wait to get going here. It doesn't get better than this in the playoffs. You have a good feeling going into it but we need our A-game. We need to be great out there and we don't want to think too much ahead. We want to stay in the moment and just worry about the next shift and play our game and get that win."
ON RESETTING AFTER LAST GAME
Sullivan: "It's a certain mental toughness or discipline of mind that I think is critically important when you're playing in the playoffs. We talk to these guys all the time about having a short memory, and we've got to have a short memory whether it's good or bad. Whether we win a game or lose a game, we want to make sure we refocus and reset our mindset in order to be in the best possible position for that very next game right in front of us. So we've had a lot of practice at it over the last couple years here, and there's no doubt in my mind, certainly, that our guys understand it, and they'll have the right frame of mind going into Game 7."
Rowney: "We've got to be able to bounce back. I think it's a good team we have here, and I think for everyone just to be able to put their game behind us. It's the first one to four games, right? So I think now all the other games doesn't really matter much. Now it's just down to this one game. So I think just got to put that last game behind us and focus up for our next game."
ON DRAWING FROM THEIR EXPERIENCE
Cullen: "We've been here before. We've gone through this. We know what to expect out of our group. We have a comfort level with our plan and the way that we need to play. These are the fun games to play. So as a group, we go into it with a lot of confidence, knowing that we're going to need our best game and expecting that we'll bring it."
Sullivan: "I think our guys have it in perspective. They understand what a seven-game series is all about, and all you can do is control what you can and do your very best to have success. I loved our team's effort (Tuesday) night. I thought our effort was terrific. I thought our execution was really good on a lot of occasions. There was a lot to like about the game we had, minus the result. So we've got to make sure we don't let that disappointment affect us moving forward. We just got to reset our mind and go out and go after Game 7."
ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF A GAME 7
Murray: "I think just the fact that it's coming down to one game, and everything that's led up to now really doesn't matter. But at the same time, we want to take those good feelings from the last couple games. I thought we played really well, even (Tuesday). So, yeah, you just do what you need to do. You just try and worry about what you can control, and that's how we prepare and how we play. I think, if we do that, the rest will take care of itself."
Cullen: "Just the finality of it. These are the games, when you're a kid growing up, that you're playing in the backyard, the Game 7s and that. So for us as players, this is what it's all about. It's a different level of intensity. It's a different level of excitement. Obviously, when you get it, you move on."
ON BEATING CRAIG ANDERSON
Maatta: "I think we know it's just a matter of time. We are going to score those goals. We just need to make sure we play the same way. We need to get our opportunities and when we get opportunities to score, put them down."
Streit: "He's a good goalie. We knew that before. I think there's going to be games where he's going to be great. Credit to him, he was great last game and made a lot of saves and he maybe saw pucks more than he should. Take a little bit of his vision away, go harder to the net. I think we played a pretty good hockey game. Had a lot of scoring chances and it was just one of those nights. You've got to put that behind and I think it would be more worrying if we didn't have any chances. That would be a different story. But we're confident. Still, everybody realizes the situation we're in and it's a huge game for us."
ON RUST'S PLAY IN ELIMINATION GAMES
Rust: "You just need to put in the back of your mind that it is an elimination game and for me, it is another game. You have to go out there and play hard. The stakes are a little higher."
Sullivan: "He's one of those guys for us who has shown the ability to be the very best when the stakes are at the highest. He's had a lot of great Game 7s, and he's had a lot of great playoff games. Rusty is a good player, and our expectation is that he's going to have a solid game for us. Whether or not he scores, that's something that we can't always control, but what he can do - and I know Rusty knows this - he's going to control his effort and his attitude and his focus and conviction, and when a player controls all of those things, he puts himself in the best position to be successful."