Here are some of the postgame quotes after Wednesday’s 2-0 Devils win over the Panthers:
Talking about stopping the losing streak…
“You want to play well, we didn’t really look at the losing streak; we looked at we haven’t played well. We are comfortable playing here, and we wanted to get out of the first period — that’s been a killer for us in the last few games — we get out of the gates really bad. So when we did that today the guys were a lot more comfortable playing the game.”
Was there one particular stop that sticks out for you tonight?
“I don’t know, they had a couple of chances in the 3rd; I think the (Steven) Reinprecht one that (Mike) Mottau took his hooking penalty on, that was a pretty prime shot. But I think one of the biggest plays was when (Nathan) Horton had the puck there in the slot and Sal (Bryce Salvador) made a great block with his stick and threw the puck out of the paint, he had a great opportunity there.”
Do feel lucky there when (Rostislav) Olesz missed the net?
“Never ask that to a goalie (laughs). I’m just kidding, I couldn’t believe it; I’m the one who poked the puck to (Cory) Stillman and he makes a fake pass — I have to respect his shot from there, especially him with having such a great shot — he makes a good play and I just dove across and I just couldn’t believe. It wasn’t even close, it’s not like he hit the post, and it just went wide — so definitely I felt lucky on that one. There was one in the second too that they shot through me and it hit Whitey (Colin White) and came right back. That’s what I was saying that shutouts are tough to get, especially with the luck factor.”
Things were a lot better than they were defensively?
“Yeah I thought so, from my view I thought our defenseman were solid, we blocked a lot of shots, and we had a lot of good sticks in passing lanes, on the power plays and their rushes. It made a big difference, we played really well and we had to play well because we didn’t score many goals in this game. We felt we were in control the whole game.”
I saw you looking at the clock as you were chasing the puck, did you think you had enough time?
“I wasn’t sure but I took a look to see if there was half a dozen seconds left as comparable to, two. When I saw the clock change from five to four I figured I had a pretty good chance, the puck was right in the middle of the ice. I gave it a pretty good try.”
Was this a good bounce back game after starting slow the last three games?
“We did what we had to do to get a win. We worked hard, I think it took us a little while to get going in the first couple of periods, but I think we are still feeling the effects of the long road trip, long travel and playing every other day. We had yesterday off, but that day off is going to help us.”
Talk about the fact that the team used only three centers tonight, including you…
“You welcome (more ice-time) because you’re staying in it and you know you can go hard, get off (the ice) and you know you are going to get right back in there in a couple of shifts. It keeps you, mentally, on top of your game.”
First game, first point, how’d you feel out there?
“I felt good, a little bit of nerves in the beginning but I think I kind of settled in after the first shift or two. I found a little bit of a groove out there with the guys that I was playing with, which wasn’t too hard.”
You started off on the fourth line and then you’re playing with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac, how nice was that?
“To play with two of the better players in the league is always exciting, obviously those guys are really good offensively so I was just looking to try and get them some opportunities and knew that if I did it would be more likely that we can get some offense going.”
You had five shots on goal tonight; did you feel like you were in a good groove?
“Yeah I was trying to shoot the puck as much as I could when I was open and make the goalie make a save. Guys were finding me and the puck was bouncing my way a little bit; it was fun.”
Talking about his goal…
“You always want to shoot a rolling puck, I find that they’re harder to pick up (for the goalie); I just kind of got lucky and it went through him.”
When it’s rolling do you have any idea (where your shot will go)?
“I don’t have any clue where it’s going when it’s rolling, I’m sure the goalies don’t.”
Did Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe get a piece of it as you let it go?
“He might’ve gotten his stick on it at the last second; it looked like it on the replay that I just saw.”
Is it a relief that you scored after you guys were shutout for four, almost five consecutive periods?
“Yeah, we thought we were playing good up until then, we knew we were going to get one eventually because we had a lot of shots on net; we were throwing shots from all over the place, so it was just a matter of time.”
Does it feel good when Marty is in a groove like he has been with the shutouts?
“It seems like its every second game now that he’s getting a shutout, which is pretty amazing. Again tonight he was outstanding making the first save and our D did a good job of not allowing too many shots after that. He’s been like that all year for us and it makes us play with a lot more confidence when he plays like that.”
What did the kids add tonight?
“I think they added energy and they were good with the puck, good in our end, good offensively, they protected the puck well, they made good passes; I was really pleased with the way they both played.”
How relieved are you?
Yes. The way you won.
“Well we still have a long ways to go. I think it was a much better team effort, I think the guys were about 80% of what we can do. I think we can play a lot better than we did tonight.”
Who’d you like best?
“I liked Travis; I liked the two kids, they definitely brought good energy as we spoke of. McAmmond really played well and (Rob) Niedermayer — all three centers.”
How abut your defense?
“I think the four defensemen; definitely they made great plays in our end to get out. They were good in the offensive zone trying to keep the puck in at certain times without taking any risks.”
So what do you want to improve on?
“The overall picture; team, intensity, puck control, scoring chances.”
“And power play.”
Marty’s game tonight?
“He was good. I wish he would do this every night; he would make my job a lot easier. When he plays the way he can, he’s going to give you a great chance to win.”
What made you move Palmieri from the fourth line to the top line?
“How he played; he was playing better than the other guy, that’s why I did it. When you get a chance to play, you’ve got to take the chance and play — the kids, they have to know this. They’re called up and they have to show that they are capable of doing it.”
What did Palmieri show you?
“Well it’s his poise with the puck. Before the game I asked him if he knows how we play, when they have full control (of the puck). He said yeah, I asked him to explain and he knew the whole thing — how we play; that’s good. I told him about the defensive zone, and said make sure you stop; if you stop you’ll be in control and I thought he did it. Stopping in his position and then seeing the situation and reading the plays the other team is trying to make. Getting in good position to stop cross-ice passes will help you to get that puck and bring it out.”
What happened with Rod Pelley?
“I thought he was going to play tonight and they told me before the game that he’s not. Then I said he’s not in, we’ll have to play with three centers.”
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