How big was this win?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.29 | Sv%: .918
“It was huge, just to get us back on track. The last two games we hadn’t seen the results we wanted but tonight to get the extra point is a big step.”
Disappointed to lose two two-goal leads?
“Sometimes when you’ve got to work yourself out of a hole, you’ve got to dig deep and we did that tonight. Just because they tied it up late there, you didn’t see the bench hanging their heads or anything like that. Guys stuck to it out there and it was great to see Tats bury it.”
How do you think your evening went?
“So-so. The first two were deflections with screens in front. You’ve just got to get out and hopefully it hits you.”
This is an important stretch for the team, isn’t it?
“It’s definitely huge before going home for Washington and L.A. and then in St. Louis. We’ve got some tough competitors ahead of us. We’ve just got to find a way to stockpile points.”
Your team had 37 shots, remind you of old days?
“Yeah it was good to see. I think that’s the second time this year we’ve gotten 30 shots on net. It’s just a great effort and that was the design in practice yesterday. Get a lot of pucks on net. Petr and I saw a lot of rubber in practice and it was good to see it transition over into the game tonight.”
Good to see the defensemen very active tonight?
“When our D can push the pace, get up the ice and join in the rush I think it makes us that much more dangerous.”
The offense was coming from different lines, which is what this team needed, right?
“We’re going to need that. You can’t just rely on one line all season long, or certain individuals. Everyone’s got to pull their own weight. I think you saw that tonight. I think that’s probably our most complete game.”
Nice win despite giving up the lead in the third period tonight?
Center - DET
Goals: 3 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 5
Shots: 28 | +/-: -6
"I think it showed some character and it was a good team effort that we came out with the win.
"I think we did a good job of what we wanted to do and that was get some pucks to the net and emphasize shooting when you don't have the best angle and try to create a scramble in front."
Good to see the defense getting involved in the offense?
"When they can jump in the rush and create plays in the O-zone, kind of throw their wingers off and create some space for the forwards, it helps a lot and a few of our goals kind of attributed to them. They did a great job for us."
Can you describe your goal?
"It was definitely we had a good shift going there, kind of grinding around and getting some pucks to the net and supporting each other so it always feels nice to finally put one in."
Is this what the fourth line is now capable of doing?
"For sure. We have some skill that maybe we don't get credit for. Helmer can skate like no other player in the NHL, same with Glennie. I think once we get the pucks in the corners, we're all capable of making plays and I think we did that tonight and we got a goal for it."
Can you describe your overtime winner?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 5 | Assists: 7 | Pts: 12
Shots: 37 | +/-: -3
"I think he hit the D-man or something and they kind of looked like they were 3 on 1 and they overskated so Gus kind of read the play really well and he made a break when I was pretty much decided to go low blocker. So I just shoot it."
What did you think about building a 3-1 lead before having to win it in OT?
"It should be easier than this. We can't let it happen to let them come back and almost two points. We led by two goals and it can't happen."
Happy with the number of shots the team generated tonight?
"The last game we played back to back. It's not an excuse but you feel different when you have the day rest. We're looking pretty good for the first two periods, then I feel like we stepped back and tried to defend the score. We had many chances. We just have to find a way to put more pucks on the goal and get some easy rebounds. We are happy with the result obviously, two points."
Was it nice to see the defense get actively involved in the offense?
"They're supporting us really well. This is kind of a new system, they join the rushes. That's helping the offense for sure and guys are doing great."
Do you like 3-on-3 overtime?
"I feel like you can't miss the puck, when you're shooting you can't hit the first guy, it's automatic 3 on 2 or 2 on 1. You have to hold the puck as long as you can. When you try to shoot or make a play, you got to be 100 percent sure this is going through. I know in O-zone, takeaway or shot missed the net, it's going the other way 2 on 1, 3 on 2, so you have to be really careful."
You like that the scoring was spread between multiple lines tonight?
"For sure. We need more guys to be involved scoring goals. I feel like today all the lines did a pretty good job. That's great. We need to spread the goals a little more and that's what we did tonight and we're really happy we won a game."
You had a couple of assists tonight, does that help you feel like your old self?
Defense - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 6 | Pts: 6
Shots: 17 | +/-: -7
“Yeah. I thought the guys played really well. I thought that we executed really well, especially to start the game. It makes it easier for us D-men to get up the ice and when we do that, it creates a little bit of confusion for the other team and we were able to get some goals.”
Could your team breathe a little bit with early two-goal lead?
“Maybe a little bit, but we don’t want to hang our hat on that. We want to make sure we play a 60-minute game. It’s really hard to come out in other team’s buildings and play well. You have to give kudos to our guys tonight. We really came out of the gate strong. I would say that’s kind of the reason why we had the win. It’s a great overtime win on a goal by Tats, but it was ous start tonight.”
Is it human nature when you have a two-goal lead and it vanishes late there’s some sagging?
“We showed a lot of character tonight. They came back and played well in the third period. We could feel that they were blowing the zone and playing very offensive and sometimes that’s hard to defend. I thought the guys showed character. Guys were blocking shots, committed, doing all the right things and I guess the hockey gods were on our side tonight.”
How important is this stretch of the season?
“Extremely important. We’re preparing accordingly every game, making sure we’re doing the right things because every point matters. Even though it’s early in the season, the halfway point is going to come here real quick so we’ve got to make sure we get our points.”
Where is your comfort level in relation to returning from the groin injury?
“It was surprisingly good. I was able to skate with Mike Kadar the trainer here and everything we worked on was sort of preparing for game situations. Not only that, we were on the ice for a good hour and a half, two hours sometimes. So conditioning wasn’t an issue.”
Are you still integrating into team?
“Especially when you’re joining a new team you want to help out, contribute, but sometimes it takes a little time to sort of get the feel, the flow, how the team plays. I feel like we’re really coming along here.”
Can you talk about the next game Wednesday vs. Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals?
“Even playing with him I don’t know what other teams did or said. They tried everything and he would still have chances. We talked about it before the game and he still ended up getting 15 shots. I think he plays such a unique game. He finds the openings. He thinks the game a little differently. Maybe that creates all those chances because he’s maybe a little bit out of position, which for him is in position. He gets a lot of opportunities for sure. We’ve just got to try to eliminate his time with the puck and eliminate (Nicklas) Backstrom that’s going to give it to him. He’s the key behind that.”
Did you and Ovie get testy a couple of times in first game?
“It’s just the competition. You’ve got to play the game hard. I knew that he would be coming a little bit. That’s just his character. I made sure I gave it back to him.”
How satisfying was it to lead the rush on Nyquist’s goal?
“It was good. It’s good to sort of kind of get back to feeling like you can jump up in the play. They encourage that here, which is good. I’m finding that when I see holes I’m able to jump and feel confident that the forwards actually support you. I have all the confidence to do that. It was a great call by Abby. I had my head down, I was skating pretty hard and he made a great call for me. I just had to get it back to him and he made a great play.”
What did you think of Larkin’s firsts-period goal?
“He’s so dynamic, that kid, how he can skate and handle the puck and see. Most guys would have kept wheeling the net there. He was almost behind the net and sees that hole. He planned that. It wasn’t an accident. That just goes to show his dynamic, what kind of player he is.”
|Tomas Tatar scored the game winner at 2:04 of overtime Monday at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre. (Photo by Getty Images) |
What did you think of this one?
“I thought we did a good job in a lot of areas. They got two in the third but honestly I didn’t think we stopped pushing. I thought we had lots of chances. They pushed also and the other team’s always got something to say about it. But I thought we had chances to go up 4-2 even after they scored the second goal and didn’t quite do it. They’re a good hockey team, I’m just happy to get out with two points.”
Shots were up to season-high 37 tonight, are you happy with that number?
“I think that’s been coming for a while in terms of our shot attempts. We talked lots about it as a team. We got to do a better job of getting them through quicker, so they don’t get blocked, we got to do a better job of getting them on net. I thought we did that tonight.”
What are your thoughts on the defense getting involved in both games here in Ottawa this season?
“Big difference, It’s something we emphasized in camp and re-emphasized the week leading into our last series with these guys. I just think it puts teams on their heels a little bit and it also plays to our still set of our D. We got a D that when they’re gapped up tight they’re really good, we got a D that when they’re on the attack they’re really good, so we got to continue to do that.”
Was Larkin’s goal a good example of getting pucks on net from all angles?
“Those shots from the sides are real tough on goaltenders these days, the way goalies play. They almost anticipate pushing out to the slot, so on every goalie really, so I think those shots from the side can be dangerous.”
Were you glad to see scoring come from different lines?
“It was unfortunate that (sound like he said final) goal because I thought Sheahan, Glendening and Helm had a great night. The one goal was big but I thought they did a good job in a lot of areas. You need depth of scoring throughout your lineup. I thought Pulkkinen had really good looks. We got contributions throughout.”
What did you think of the job that Jakub Kindl did tonight?
“I thought Kindl, it might have been his best game of the season in a lot of ways. He was strong defensively, strong on the puck, broke the puck out great, seemed to be real aggressively offensively, in a good way, not taking too many chances but creating opportunities. He did a good job.”
Are you happy with Green’s progression since returning from injury?
“The thing with Greener, too, is he missed a bit of camp and was out for a bit once the season started, so he’s still trying to get his game going to the ‘A’ level. When he’s on the attack he’s great. Him and I talked this morning just about being on the attack all the time and gapping and skating forwards, he’s a great forward skater. Let’s utilize that. I thought he did a real good job.”
Ovie returns Wednesday, will you try to limit him to 14 shots this time?
“We’re thinking maybe 20, I liked the way that one worked, so we’ll see.”