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What they're saying: Stars talk about Game 5 win over Predators

Montgomery, Benn, Seguin and Bishop discuss the victory, which pushed Nashville to the brink of elimination

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

Video: Montgomery on Game 5: 'Next one is the hardest one'

On the top line's effort…

It was pretty impressive, they drove play all the time and they wanted more ice time. A couple times, Jamie (Benn) was banging his stick and looking at me. They wanted it, they felt it, and they were playing well.

 

On Jamie Benn…

I thought all four lines were doing a good job. Our first goal, (Roope) Hintz's line, what a great cycle play by Hintz and (Jason) Dickinson and (Mats) Zuccarello and the d-men involved. We did a lot of good things. I think we keep getting better and we have to keep getting better, the next one is the hardest one because it's the potential to end someone's season, so that's a challenge in front of us now.

 

On Jason Dickinson…

I go back to it all the time, but I think him and Roope and the deep run they had in the Calder Cup Playoffs last year toughened them up, they relish these games now. They know how to execute; you see them have poise with chips in the d-zone and it's fun to watch those young players blossom.

 

On leaving all three guys together on the top line…

I like mixing and matching those top six right now because it depends on home or away. But if that top line is going to play like that, I'm not going to outsmart myself.

 

On potential for more pretty goals…

It's the right time of year for pucks to be going in. Our shooting percentage was like eight percent in the regular season. I don't know what it is, but the last two games, it's probably more like 40 percent.

 

On consistency…

I think we have a lot of guys that have been waiting to be back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Since we've been here, everybody looks the same when we don't have it, and players are playing to their strengths when we have it, and I think that's why we're being better offensively but we're really being hard to play against defensively.

 

On last 10 minutes…

I do like the way we finished the game. After they scored to make it 5-3, I didn't like that next four to five minutes, but after that, we started skating and grinding and possessing pucks again and we had really good poise in our d-zone. Not a lot of icings in the third period which is nice to see.

 

On goaltender Ben Bishop…

Bish (Ben Bishop) has had a tremendous season and I think, I'm a little biased, but rightfully so, that he should be a Vezina finalist and hopefully he gets some hardware in Vegas whenever the date is.

 

On confidence…

I think it's grown quite a bit. I think players relish getting out there right now and everybody wants the puck and everybody wants to hunt the puck. Right now, players are really feeling good about themselves. That's a good place to be, but we have to stay in the moment and get back ready for Monday night.

 

On skill play between Seguin, Radulov and Benn…

It's skill and it's chemistry and its hard, heavy hockey. That first goal, the effort they had getting above pucks, and then Jamie (Benn) gets it and zings it, I thought Seggy (Tyler Seguin) was going to one time it and then he zings it right to the back door and Radulov didn't miss, he hammered that thing into the open net.

 

Stars captain Jamie Benn

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm5: Radulov finishes feed from Benn

On what worked for the Stars's first line tonight…

I thought we were moving the puck around. (We had) pretty good skating and just working with each other and we found a way to get a couple.

 

On staying on task even though early chances in the first period didn't find the net…

It's always a positive when you're getting the chances. Pekka (Rinne) is a hell of a goalie. (He's) made some incredible saves in the series - especially on myself - so far. The positives are we're getting the chances. It, obviously, sucks to not score sometimes but as long as you stick with it, keep going - I thought that's what we did as a group and it paid off for us.

 

On if the other lines contributing takes pressure off the first line…

We're all trying to play the same way within our system here. We've been successful as of late and we're just going to continue to try to play the right way.

 

On knowing to be physical with Ryan Ellis before Alexander Radulov's second goal…

You kind of know right away. It's a race for the puck and you just want to do whatever you can to get that puck. I hard those guys calling behind me way before I had the puck - they always want the puck. I found a way to get it to Rads (Radulov) there and he made a great shot.

 

On Ben Bishop being named a Vezina Trophy finalist…

It's huge. I can't say it's really a surprise. We all know how good Bish (Bishop) is, that's a great nomination to get and well deserved. He's put in a lot of hard work and been through a little bit of adversity this year, which goes to show the professional he is and the competitor he is. He comes to work every day, grinds and it starts in practice and translates to the game. Definitely a great honor for him.

 
Stars forward Tyler Seguin

Video: Top line carries Stars to Game 5 win

On his line looking good tonight…

We were working hard. I thought our first period as a line was good. We had a lot of chances - we didn't cash in on them and we didn't get too rattled by it. Obviously, the second period was good.

 

On outworking Nashville…

Our line is all about work and it's about will. We have the skill and talent there, but when we're working hard, we're happy to go up against anybody. They're a good team and they had some good push backs tonight. I thought their goalie still played really good, especially early on. It's going to be a really hard game to try and win on home ice in the next one on Monday.

 

On the play of Jamie Benn tonight…

He can put some fear in some guys eyes out there when he's on the forecheck. You saw a couple of those goals, not many players want to get the puck with him going into the corner, I wouldn't. He's a big boy and he's working hard for us leading the way.

 

On the superstar effect…

I thought tonight was a clear team win. Different guys stepped up at different times. I think Rads (Alexander Radulov) had some big goals and Jamie (Benn) worked hard. Guys like Jason Dickinson getting two tonight, our goalie being the backbone again, a lot of our guys blocking shots. I thought (Radek) Faksa had a heck of a night too. It's all a team effort right now, and no one cares who's
getting the credit around here. It's fun hockey to play.

 

On watching Jason Dickinson step up…

I think it's great and I think throughout this series so far, you've seen different guys step up. Roope (Hintz) has stepped up, Dicky (Jason Dickinson) stepped up, and Miro (Heiskanen) stepped up. I don't think these younger guys have any fear of the big moments or playoffs. It's been a good team effort so far. Just like last game, we're going to park this pretty quickly. Play some cards on the way home and enjoy the win today and get ready to get back to work tomorrow.

 

On the space he saw on his assist…

It's just instincts. I kind of knew where he was going and I haven't seen the replay but I knew (Ryan) Johansen was coming on me quick so I tried to find him. I told him when he got back to the bench that he could have just put it in the middle of the net and not worry me like that, but it was a heck of a shot.

 

Stars goaltender Ben Bishop

Video: Bishop on Game 5 win, being named finalist for Vezina

On if tonight's performance was a good reminder of what the Stars' top line is capable of…

They've been great all season and tonight was a good example of what they can do. They all had a good night, and a big game for us and we know the next one will be the hardest win.

 

On the start from the first period carried the team on during the game…

We played a good period. We knew they were going to come and their crowd was going to be in it. It was just about going out there and playing our game. We've done a good job of that this series and just have to continue to work the same way.

 

On seeing consistency within the team…

The guys are working hard and they're getting rewarded for it… We've got a lot of experience in this locker room now. Some guys that came in at the deadline have helped us a lot.

 

On when he found out he is a Vezina Trophy finalist…

I was told yesterday. It's a great honor. As much as it is an individual award, it's a team thing. The guys have done a great job in front of me all season. It's an honor, but it's a great team recognition.

 

On the way the team finished tonight's game…

We knew they were going to come hard at the end. They're fighting hard in front of their home crowd. There were some huge blocks. Guys did the little things to get the win - blocking shots left and right and clearing rebounds and doing those small things it takes to win.

 

On the emergence of Jason Dickinson in the series…

He's been playing great. I've been telling him to shoot the puck. He did something to his stick and it's coming off pretty good right now so I'm proud of him and he deserves it. He's been playing really good hockey and it's nice to see him get rewarded tonight.

For complete postseason coverage, visit Stars Playoff Central.

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