Here are some of the postgame quotes from Game 1 of the Devils-Flyers series:
Were you guys tight at all?
“Maybe, maybe grabbing out sticks (tight) a little bit; we made some mistakes with the puck that guys normally won’t. Pucks were jumping over sticks, missed opportunities that way, but it’s somewhat to be expected. They didn’t do a whole lot more – we did a very good job eliminating their chances, we just didn’t finish.”
Were you surprised by the line combinations and the number of times they changed?
“Me, Nieds and Rollie? We tried a lot of different combinations tonight.”
Do you think they should they have been set by now?
“I don’t think that’s the way we play; I think we switch depending on the situation and what he (coach Jacques Lemaire) sees and we continued to do that again tonight.”
You guys didn’t generate much on the double-minor…
“We didn’t generate much on the power play at all; we did a good job of entering the zone, but after that they did a good job of keeping us to the outside. We didn’t get enough shots, we made a few blunders we didn’t need to — turn the puck over, puck bouncing over some sticks, but we have to be better on the PP obviously. We controlled the five-on-five play for the most part, we did a pretty good job limiting their chances; our power play just didn’t score a goal.”
Did you get a piece of that second goal?
“Yeah; it hit the top of my pad (over my toe) and it went in and hit the underside of the crossbar and came back.”
Talking about the loss…
“It takes four games to win a series; they got the first one and we have to find a way to fight through them.”
You guys aren’t the favorites in this series…
“Underdog, you can call it like it is.”
Do you feel like there are no expectations?
“Less pressure for sure. You go out there and nobody’s sees us winning against Jersey, and they’ll come back. Everybody knows around the league with the parity you never know what can happen and we believe in that, we believe in ourselves. We’ve touched rock bottom, we played the worst hockey that this team can play, and we’ve played good hockey. It was (just) one game tonight; we played okay with room for improvement and hopefully next game we can play better.”
Talking about his assist on Mike Richards’ goal…
“I looked over my shoulder and I saw Richie there; I told him on the bench if I missed that pass I don’t think I’ll see the ice again, but you take chances and it worked.”
You guys did a great job with the aggressive PK, especially in the third period…
“Yeah we did, but we can’t take that many penalties. With as much skill as they have on their team, we have to learn from that for next game. We talked about before the game that we have to be smarter, because they have too many skilled players.”
What would you say was decisive for your team in turning the game in your favor?
“I would say probably the way we played the second period; I think our goaltender gave us an opportunity to win that game. We weren’t at our best early on; I thought we got a lot more competitive in the second period. The PK, we had some big kills in the third period, obviously the double-minor, not the way you want to start the period when you’re up 2-0 and having to kill off four minutes of the first five minutes. I thought the penalty killers did a real good job.”
What do you have to fix for Game 2?
“I think we played a pretty good game, we had some chances that, the puck didn’t go in. We limited them to a certain number of chances, which, that’s what we were looking for. Again, they’re a good team that plays well defensively and it was a 2-1 game. We were looking for a goal earlier than when we got ours, that would’ve helped. I guess we have to work a little more on our power play; I’d like to get some goals on the power play. Special teams in the playoffs are really important — if you get scored on shorthanded or you don’t score on the PP, it could cost you the game.”
Is Game 2 a must-win?
“They’re all important; definitely we’re home and there’s no doubt we’re looking to win the second game to stay even. This is the playoffs and playoffs is the first team that wins four (games) out of seven; it hasn’t changed.”
Was Kovalchuk trying too hard this game?
“Well he tried a lot, maybe a little too hard; sometimes looking for people, sometimes carrying the puck. He still is a threat and he’s good for us, he had numerous chances tonight but couldn’t get a goal. We’ll be looking for that.”
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