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Post-Game Quotes vs. Oilers

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

TOMAS TATAR

Tomas Tatar
Left Wing  - DET
Goals: 8 | Assists: 9 | Pts: 17
Shots: 52 | +/-: E
Can you describe your second-period goal that put the Red Wings up 2-0?

“Yeah, Gus made a nice play. We had them out-numbered and I think Riley drew round minutes for us and he picked the D with him. I just picked my spot and shot it.”

Seemed like five guys were in the crease on Nyquist’s goal, has the net-front presence taken over for you guys?

“Yeah, when I passed the puck to Greener he made a crazy, good move, you know. He went around the D-man and he … to be honest, I believe he will score, but the goalie somehow made the save. But guys were battling in front. We put the puck in the net. We make those kind of goals we’re really happy to see those in the back of the net. It’s awesome. Good for us. Obviously we don’t want to complicate a game like we did. We won it in overtime but thank god for two points.”

What did you think of Kronwall’s huge hit early in the game, then to get the OT winner?

“Yeah, he’s been great. He made a few great plays during the game and I think he deserved that. He had some really big chances in the games before and we’re really happy that he find the net. Like I said, he’s working every day and deserved it.”

Does it give the team a big boost when Kronwall delivers a hit like he did on Mark Letestu?

“Yeah, I was on the ice and couldn’t really see. But it did not sound really good. So obviously the whole league knows he’s doing it and he’s pretty good at it.”

JIMMY HOWARD

Jimmy Howard
Goalie  - DET
Record: 6-4-1
GAA: 2.40 | Sv%: .914
What was the game like from your perspective?

“It was quiet early. We did a great job in the first period of just playing in their end and when you do that it’s tough for teams to get scoring chances on you. I thought we did a great job again tonight. It was a great effort and we deserved the two points.”

What kind of lift did Kronwall’s hit give your team early on?

“That was huge hit. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kronner step up and give one of those hits. It was great to see and for him to finish it off there (with OT winner) was a nice touch.”

Have teams forgotten he’s back there with the ability to deliver such a hit?

“I know, right. He’s so good at timing it and when he gets you lined up there’s nowhere to go.”

What did you think of the OT exchange where Nugent-Hopkins got the puck from Kronwall before he got it back and scored?

“Then it’s going the other way. It was a good individual effort by Nugent-Hopkins to knock the puck out of the air that close to Kronner. Then Kronner hustled back to break it up and then away we went. The horse race started and we were able to end it.”

Is three on three a nightmare for goalies, or do you like it?

“I kind of like it, I mean, I’m probably one of the few goalies who have said that this year. But I kind of like it. I think it’s fun. It’s on-the-edge-of-your-seat hockey.”

NIKLAS KRONWALL

Niklas Kronwall
Defense  - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 7 | Pts: 8
Shots: 20 | +/-: -7
What did you think of Friday’s game?

“I thought the first 35 minutes or so we did a lot of good things. We kept shooting the puck, got lots of opportunities, had a lot of zone time. We’ve got to find a way to score more goals there. I thought we had some opportunities but then they got the momentum going and we got too much on our heels. Stopped working, stopped playing, really. The third wasn’t really very good either. All in all, we dug deep and found a way to get two points.”

Was tonight a lesson in the danger of letting a team hang around?

“I think we’ve seen that over the course already. This wasn’t the first night. We’ve got to find a way to get that extra security marker, so to speak. It’s hard. You’re trying to find goals, it doesn’t go in and then all of a sudden it’s in the back of your net. You’ve got to find a way to play 60 minutes.”

Can you describe the opportunity you got on your OT winner?

“Larks made a real nice play. Held on to it, held on to it and made a nice pass over. I just tried to put it on net and luckily it went in.”

What did you see in the split second right before you made the hit on Letestu?

“Everything just goes so fast. You see a guy with his head down and you’re just trying to separate him from the puck.”

What about the job that Nyquist and Tatar and that line did?

“I thought they’ve been really good for us of late, not just the two of them but Sheahan as well. That line has been really effective for us, not just scoring goals but the shifts. Shift and shift they get the pucks deep, they hold on to it and they make plays.”

Nice to see Green getting into offensive zone on Nyquist’s goal?

“It’s awesome. That’s one of the big qualities that he has and we’re so lucky to have that. Not a lot of teams have a guy like that who can read a play and jump up in the right moment.”

JEFF BLASHILL

Niklas Kronwall picked a great time to score his first goal of the season, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

What did you like most about the way your team got the two points?

"Well, the two points, one. It is a league you've got to find a way to points. We needed those two for sure, especially giving up a lead there. I thought the first half of the game we played, really, really well. I didn't like the last eight minutes or so in the second and I didn't like us enough in the third. I think we can play better than that. That's not to take anything away from Edmonton, they pushed hard, they have a lot of talent on the team there but we've got to be better than that than we were the second half of the game."

How about the impact Larkin has had overall this season?

"He has a huge impact. When he gets the puck, we were just talking in the room, Ken Holland said this, when he gets the puck, he rarely makes a bad play with the puck. He's still got things to learn away from the puck, stopping on pucks, stopping back in the D-zone, things like that, but that's our job as coaches, to help him with that. He makes real good decisions with the puck, he's able to make plays at high speed. Again, he's had a real impact on our year so far, he's a big part of our team. But I thought other guys were good, especially the first half of the game as well."

How about Kronwall setting the tone with the hit and then the game-winner?

"The big hit was great. He's pretty special when it comes to that. I think it's something it's good to see him do it after the suspension last year and him get that back in his arsenal. Then obviously the goal at the end is big. I think Kronner's played real good here the last, I don't know, five, six, seven, eight games. He's done a real good job. When he's playing the way he's capable of, I think he's an elite defenseman in the league, I think he's a one because he's good offensively, he's good defensively and he's a big-time winner so good for him."

How about having a killer instinct?

"The one thing I thought tonight is it was a little different than the Boston game, the Boston game, I thought we needed the third goal and it would have been over because we weren't giving them anything. I thought tonight we were a little bit immature. We can't make big mistakes that lead to easy goals. We probably made a couple of them that led to too many easy goals, actually all three, whether it was on the PK or the two 5-on-5 goals were big mistakes that led to easy goals. You can't do that. If you do that, you don't have great chances to win. We got to continue to mature as a hockey team and learn how to win those games in regulation. It's a process, it's something we're going to have to get better at."

What does that Kronwall hit do for a team?

"I just think big, physical hits like that, they're lifts for sure but it also makes the other team be cautious coming out of their end a little bit. They have to have their head up a little bit more. It has impacts that way for sure."

Are you seeing what you want from Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist line?

"Yeah, I grabbed Tats and Nyquie and I'll say the same thing to Sheahan, I thought they were great overall for the game. They, to me, are the X-factor for us. I think when they're playing to the way they've been playing, they've been consistently good here over the last number of games. Very few teams in the league can have three lines that have that offensive ability and that's why we've been able to control majorities of games and then Glennie's line is real good, too, in an energy type way. I think Tatar, Sheahan and Nyquist are an X-factor for us and I think they've been really, really good here lately."

How about the fourth line?

"They had chances tonight. They're going to be a quantity type line where ultimately with a lot of quantity will come their goals and production but I just think through their energy, through their forecheck, through their O-zone play, they'll get their chances and Helm's speed alone gets himself chances so they've been a good line for us, they've given us a four-line team."

On the PK, did they become fixated on the puck?

"No, most teams do it in the league is you try to outnumber, not outnumber but play, you send three guys into that pile. Our fourth guy was probably a little too close there, he should have been backed off a little bit. If you send three guys into that pile, you have to win the puck and we didn't win the puck. It's a little bit easier in the corner than it is right behind the net, most teams in the league do a real similar approach. We have no-set mentality, we don't want the other team to set up in the penalty kill, we want to spend as little time in our zone as possible. That's part of it, sometimes you have to live and die with it. We made a little bit of a mistake off it, we need to win the puck and we were probably just a little too low."

GUSTAV NYQUIST

Gustav Nyquist
Right Wing  - DET
Goals: 8 | Assists: 6 | Pts: 14
Shots: 54 | +/-: E
Can you describe your goal?

“There were a lot of bodies in front, the puck’s just laying there, it was nice to get a stick on it. Obviously, I haven’t scored as much as I wanted to lately and it was nice to get a dirty one.”

Did Kronwall set the tone with his big hit?

“That was a big hit, it was a good hit. Obviously gave us a lot of energy. I thought we played great in the first and again in the second. Then we started taking our foot off the gas a little bit. A little too many turnovers kind of let them in the game. But other than that, overall the last four games have been pretty good.”

What impact did Larkin have again tonight?

“He’s obviously a great player, a young guy coming in and playing real well right away. I think they complement each other real well on that line. Z makes those plays, Larks’ speed and Abby’s physical presence. They make up for a pretty good line.”

Did you think you scored the go-ahead goal late in third when Tats tipped your point shot?

“That looked close. I think if the puck would have stayed in the crease he could have tapped it in pretty easy. At the end of the day, it was important for us to get the two points. They’re on the other side, so it doesn’t really matter that they got one, as long as we got one.”

How happy are you with the job your line with Tatar and Sheahan is performing lately?

“I think we’ve been playing well together the last four games. Sheahan’s the middle guy there, takes care of us, doesn’t get enough credit for what he does, the work he does. We all seem to be finding each other pretty well. We’ve left some chances unfinished out there. We could have scored more but it’s nice to get two today.”

What about the job that Green did rushing the puck into the zone on your goal?

“It starts with Tats makes a nice play on the wall, he’s lying down and finds Green. Green’s obviously real active in the rush and he does a great job there all the time, comes in, makes a nice move and gets a shot on net and the puck’s just laying there. Try to get a stick on it.”

DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.

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