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Chicago Player Post Game Quote

by Staff NHL.COM / San Jose Sharks
Q. Dustin, on that goal you ended up scoring, Joel had a couple of quick little changes there where you were out in the face off, back to the bench, out again. Did you sense it was a clever bit of line changing on his part? Talk about the shot that beat them.

DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN: We've been trying to get different groups in the offensive zone to start the lines off to get going in their zone. We happened to get out there and happened to beat them, got into the open area. Kaner seemed to find it, got a good shot in.

Q. Antti, where would you rank your performance today in your young career?
ANTTI NIEMI: For sure, one of the best, for sure.

Q. Anything else?
ANTTI NIEMI: (Smiling).

Q. Dustin, talk a little bit about facing Nabokov.
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN: Yeah, he seems to always be in the right spot, finding pucks. You know, that's something that we're going to have to continue, you know, seeing what he's doing and getting in front of him, getting traffic, lots of pucks to him.

Q. A lot of traffic in front of the net goals so far. How much are your teammates encouraging you to unleash the shot, like tonight?
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN: I mean, it's always been the big thing, always getting the shot off. Always think shooting first before making a play, at least in my head it's going off that way.
You know, it's just a matter of getting pucks to the net.

Q. Antti, about a minute to go, they get a power-play. It's going to be a 6-on-4. As that timeout is happening, what's going through your mind at that point?
ANTTI NIEMI: I think you just want to focus for the next shot. You know you're going to go busy at the end because of PK. You want to just focus for the next puck.

Q. How did you prepare for playing in this building when you'd never done it before and how different was this level of intensity to the previous two series?
ANTTI NIEMI: Well, we still had a practice here before, so I don't think it was that big of a deal. And we hadn't faced Nashville for a long time either. I don't know if one or two games would have felt too much.

Q. You had never won in this building. How did you prepare for that mentally?
ANTTI NIEMI: Yeah, it didn't bother me too much. Not at all. I don't know if one or two games earlier would have helped also. So I think it didn't matter, like same thing as Nashville, we didn't face them for a long time either.

Q. Antti, you said this was one of your best performances, for sure. What was better? What game have you ever played that was better? Which do you think was your best save tonight?
ANTTI NIEMI: It's hard to remember the game. It depends on how many shots you face, but also like their quality, if you have lots of PK or breakaways. Maybe one game in Vancouver earlier this season or maybe one in Pittsburgh, they were pretty good, too.
Best save, maybe in the second period with my glove from the goal line.

Q. Antti, just playing off of that, can you describe what you saw and what you did to make that save, in a flash what goes through your head when you see the puck going like that?
ANTTI NIEMI: After a fast or a quick shot, you don't even -- you might make the save, or think afterwards, Where did he get the puck? I just saw him standing pretty much at the back post with an empty net and I just wanted to get my hand in the way.

Q. Antti, could you talk about maybe what signs of frustration you saw coming from the Sharks as you kept turning shots back.
ANTTI NIEMI: I don't think they got too frustrated today. I'm not going to even try to think about those things. I'm going to just keep on focusing for the next puck.

Q. Vancouver had a difficult time getting you out from in front of the goal. How did San Jose do that in comparison to them? Were they able to keep you away or were you able to maintain your ground?
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN: They did a very good job. They got some veteran guys back there that know how to play in front and play often. I thought they did a very good job. We didn't really seem to, you know, be getting in front and controlling as much as we had the puck in Vancouver.
I mean, I think they do a very good job at it. You know, it's still always going to be a battle.

Q. Dustin, just overall from Vancouver, is this as well as you've played? Tough to make that assessment about yourself. How well do you feel you're playing in terms of how well you want to play?
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN: I feel like I'm at the top of my game right now. I think there's improvements to be made. You know, just got to keep working and just getting in front, you know, getting dirty.


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