Here are some of the postgame quotes from the Devils 2-1 shootout loss to the Blackhawks:
Talking about the game…
“I thought it was a pretty good game; it’s just that the outcome was not what we liked.”
What did you see on the lone shootout goal?
“(Laughs) He skated, shot it and beat me. That’s exactly what I saw. He didn’t do anything, he just came in and fired it; below my glove.”
Are you worried about the late-game woes?
“Well, it’s three in a row now. Bad luck once, twice maybe, now its three games in our building with seconds left on the clock that we’re letting go of points. We need to play better in these situations; that’s the bottom line. We did it real well in Montreal, that was the last time. After that every time after that when it comes down to crunch (time), we got scored on.”
Can you talk about the goal at the end and what happened there?
“We just couldn’t clear it; we had the puck on the boards there for a while, and after that in the middle of the ice. It just squirted loose right to (Kris) Versteeg; he turned around and just shot it. Somebody was in front of me with my defenseman and it just went through.”
What kind of a letdown is that with 26 seconds left, missing out on the shutout?
“It’s hockey; things happen, that’s why you have to play the full 60 minutes. Sometimes things happen quickly.”
Usually you go first in the shootout, how come it was different tonight?
“Don’t ask me, I was surprised as you guys. It was the first time I think, when we’ve had the decision to pick that they don’t go first; so I was kind of taking my time and I heard Lipper (Jamie Langenbrunner) just go and was shocked. I turned around and I was surprised that it was Jamie out there.”
Are there any positives that you can take out of a disappointing loss tonight?
“I think we played well defensively, Marty played a great game. In the last minute we have to get the puck out, any way we can.”
Talking about his goal…
“(Vladimir) Zharkov battled along the boards hard and chipped the puck to Patty (Elias), and he made a great play; I was in the right time and the right place and put it in.”
Your 40th goal tonight, a nice milestone?
“It really doesn’t matter, you just want to play and help your team win every night.”
Did you get the shot you wanted during the shootout?
“Yeah, I wanted to go on my backhand, but I missed the net, so what are you going to do?”
Did this game have a playoff-feel to it?
“I wouldn’t say it had a playoff-feel yet, but the style with these games is getting tighter and tighter; and there’s less room to make little pretty plays. Like you saw we had to find a way to score an ugly one at the end there.”
Did you ever play in a game where there were no penalties?
“No, it hasn’t happened for a while; it was both ways. You could say there was a few calls that they let go but it went both ways. It was an even game I think; it was fun that there was a lot of flow and the game seemed to go by faster.”
Talking about a low-scoring game…
“They play that style of game; we both knew it was going to be a low-scoring game. Just not try to do anything too crazy or press anything, we did a good job of sticking to our game plan.”
You were smiling before, how do you react to a game like this?
“Well it’s a tough loss, but on the other hand there are a lot of good things that we did during the game. Let’s face it, Chicago is a great team, a great offensive team and their defenseman are very offensive — they can score goals. Even though that Marty made some good saves there at different times, that goal, they just sent it at the net and it hit our skate and just found its way in. I thought we skated well with them; we played aggressive right from the start of the game. I felt all the guys played pretty good.”
What could’ve been different right before they scored?
“You have to know how to play when there’s only a few seconds left. When you see that nobody can control the puck, if you get the puck — it has to go down (the ice), it has to go down. Even if it’s an icing; the thing is its going to calm things around, but you can’t try to make plays after they have the puck for 20 seconds or 30 seconds.”
Was (Mike) Mottau in good position on the tying goal?
“He was fine. I looked at the replay to make sure — the puck was not flat on the ice, it hit the heel of his stick, hit his skate and went through Marty’s legs.”
What could have been done different during the shootout?
“The shootout is an individual thing. Jamie made a good move and had the goalie beat, but just lost the puck. Zach (Parise) made a good move, the goalie came back with his leg at the last second, which gave him a great save there. Kovy, he tried to go backhand and if he doesn’t miss the net he’s got a great chance to score. It’s the individual that believes in a certain move when they are going to go; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Why did you choose to go first instead of shooting second in the shootout?
“Because we haven’t had any luck going second, so let’s try to change it. Next time I’ll drink milk instead of water (smiles).”
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