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What they're saying: Stars react to Game 1 win over Predators

Montgomery, Benn, Heiskanen and Bishop give their thoughts following the 3-2 victory

by Staff Report @DallasStars / DallasStars.com
Stars head coach Jim Montgomery

Video: Montgomery says 'first time players' were Stars' best

On what he thought changed in the second half of the game…

"I thought we started skating. I thought we started winning more battles and got a little more physical."

 

On if there are any superlatives left to describe Miro Heiskanen after tonight…

"No, there isn't. I mean, just like I've said all year, we're glad we have him."

 

On their rookie players skating in their first playoff game…

"It's amazing, you know, because our first-time players were our best players tonight. I thought they led everybody else to come along with them. It's great to have young players like (Roope) Hintz and (Jason) Dickinson and, obviously, Miro (Heiskanen). I'm probably forgetting some, but let's not forget how good Ben Bishop was. I mean that first period, they controlled every part of the game except for the one powerplay we had. Bishop kept us in. It could have been 4-0."

 

On how good Ben Bishop's communication is in a building as loud as Bridgestone Arena…

"Yeah, with his hockey senses. In this building, the communication's hard. You can't hear each other. I'm a little hoarse here. I had to tap players to let them know they're up, so the communication gets diminished in this rink, but his hockey sense and awareness - like the play at the end, not the freeze it, and take it phase off with eight seconds and throw it in the corner so that we kill the clock. That's an elite mind."

 

On what he thought about the power play tonight…

"The second unit was great, the first unit needs to be much better."

 

On what it was like for him in his first playoff game…

"Surprisingly calmer than I thought I would be, although some of the players wouldn't think that with how I spoke to them at times. It was a lot of fun. A great environment, this is a great building. The momentum swings enduring all of that, looking at what they were doing and what we were doing. It was a lot of fun."

 

On if it's comforting to know how they've been playing recently…

"Yes. We would like better starts still. I thought we were nervous, I thought our legs were heavy. The guys were changing every 20 seconds, which is not our norm, but you have to get in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and you have to experience it."

 

Stars captain Jamie Benn

Video: Benn: 'Maybe it's something in the Finnish water'

On Miro Heiskanen's performance…

"What a game. The kid comes to play every night. He prepares like a true professional and approaches the game like a true professional. (He) played a pretty damn good game tonight."

 

On getting shots from their defensemen against Nashville…

"We're just trying to work the puck low and get it up to our 'D' for a shot. It's a pretty simple play that worked out well for us. We're just trying to get shots from anywhere, really. No special place, just trying to get pucks on net. Pekka's (Rinne) obviously one of the best goalies in the League, so we're really just trying to do anything."

 

On the team's ability to stay calm after Nashville's fast start…

"I thought we weathered the storm in the first (period). We still lost the period, which we didn't want to do, but we found a way to win."

 

On gaining confidence from winning Game 1 on the road…

"We feel good right now. Come tomorrow we're going to look forward to Saturday. These guys are a great team. I'm sure they're not too worried -- they've been around for a while. (We) have to focus on the next one."

 

Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen

Video: Heiskanen relishes historic first playoff experience

On playing in his first playoff game…

"It feels pretty good. It was a great atmosphere here and feels great to play. Great win for us."

 

On if he treated his first playoff game like any other game he's played…

"Very similar, like every other one. I just play my game and try to play my best. You don't even think about it as a playoff game, just play my game and enjoy."

 

On being able to score a couple goals against fellow Finnish player Pekka Rinne…

"It felt great. He's a really good goalie. It was great that we got those goals and won the game. It's a great feeling."

 

On seeing Roope Hintz step into a bigger role…

"He's a really good player and we need him. He's fast, a good skater and drives to the net. We need him a lot."

 

Stars goaltender Ben Bishop

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm1: Bishop denies Smith and Turris

On the defense rebounding after a rocky start…

"We know they're a good team and obviously it's a tough building to play in. They came out pretty strong and I thought we did a good job of weathering the storm - just kind of fighting our way back."

 

On Miro Heiskanen's first playoff game…

"It looks it's been 100. I'm not surprised anymore, but it's truly impressive. He plays like he's been in the League for 10 years. He goes about his business quietly and efficiently. He's going to be a star in this League for a long time."

 

On the team's communication in Bridgestone Arena…

"We would try to talk as much as we can and sometimes you can hear them, sometimes you can't. It's just one of those things, just talk and guys can make plays if they hear you or not."

 

On dealing with Nashville's defensemen on the attack…

"They are very elite. I think they have the highest scoring 'D' corps in the League and you can see it. They have some extremely talented defensemen over there from top to bottom. It's important to try to keep an eye on them at all times and they're going to get their chances, but try to limit them as much as possible."

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