Here are some of the postgame quotes after the Devils 5-3 Game 2 win over the Flyers:
What about playing with Zach and Patrik, something you haven’t done too much of?
“Well it’s not exactly a new line because in the past couple of weeks, we’ve played quite a few games together. We had some success, me and Zach, and our centers were switched every now and then — sometimes it’s Travis (Zajac), sometimes it’s Patrik; we try to get on the pucks, try to play in their end as much as we can and not give them too many easy shifts against us. He (Zach) is obviously a great player, he’s on the puck all the time; it’s kind of easy to read him because he goes so hard every single time. So I try to not be too far from him so I can help him out to recover some pucks and try to get some shots.”
After you get the shorthanded goal early, is your confidence soaring?
“Yeah, when you get that early, first one, you’re more comfortable with the puck; you’re more comfortable to make plays, the game kind of slows down a bit for you. I think that was the case tonight.”
Did you guys learn you can’t take penalties against them tonight?
“Well I think that’s how it is this time of year no matter what; they have a good power play. It just seemed like every time we turned around for some reason, we were in the box. It really can take a toll on individual players, and it can really kill momentum too. We did a good job on our PK and we got the shorthanded goal too, so we did fine.”
Can you talk about the pass that Patrik made to you on your goal?
“Great pass. He saw me with a step on (Chris) Pronger and he was able to get it through (Matt) Carle; it was a great play. He sent me in alone on a breakaway.”
Talking about the play at the end of the game where the winning goal was scored…
“Zubie made a really good power move to the net and that’s what he brings to our line, what he brings to this team; he was able to chip it over the goalie’s shoulder there.”
How do you feel after your first playoff game?
“I was waiting for someone to come over to talk to me. It was awesome, it’s great to get a win and it was really intense out there; fortunately we came out on top.”
So that means you were the secret ingredient? Game 1 you don’t play, they lose, Game 2 you play they win…
“I’d like to think I contributed to the win, but everyone played well. It was a good team effort and we played solid for 60 minutes and got the win.”
The PK was sharp tonight and Marty was there to clean up anything else right?
“Guys stepped up when they needed to and that’s what it’s going to win playoff games. You find that out pretty quick, it feels good, but there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”
How long before you settled down during the game, if at all?
“There were a couple of butterflies I guess, at the start, but I played in a couple of games with these guys (12 games). After the first couple of shifts were out of the way, I felt good, I felt like I was in the game.”
When did you find out you were going to be in the lineup?
“I found out this morning at the pre-game skate; I was pretty pumped to hear that.”
Talking about his penalties…
“Today I took a couple, especially the third penalty, maybe I should stay away from it; but we won the game, so who cares.”
It was the end of your shift right?
“Yeah we were leading by a goal, so I should’ve…but should’ve, would’ve; you know. But we got the win and who cares.”
Will you be a little more relaxed because you got the empty net goal?
“You know I would be relaxed if we won 4-3; I just got a chance, crossed the red line and shoot for the empty net. I saw (Jeff) Carter broke his stick so, it was nice to get a two-goal lead.”
What happened with Mike Richards on your second penalty?
“He was slashing and stuff, but its okay, its part of the game. He’s a tough player to play against and we have to watch him.”
Were you trying to get him to fight?
“Well, you never know (smiles).”
Talking about playing on the PK with Parise…
“It was the first time, maybe all season, that me and Zach were out there on the PK together. So we kind of stayed on top of them, forced them to make mistakes. I had a great opportunity in the second period, we read off of each other real well tonight.”
Was the second period you team’s best period this series?
“I don’t know; I thought we played well in the first and third periods last game, we just didn’t score. Same thing today, we had a couple of goals, but at the same time we had a lot more opportunities. We just have to stay with it; it’s up and down throughout the games, throughout the playoffs, we just have to stay the course.”
What do you expect for Game 3 when you go to Philly?
“A lot of excitement, a lot of energy from their side and we just have to match it. We have to go in there and just play; focus on the job. They’ll be feeding off of their crowd, it will be loud — we just have to stay in control and play our game.”
Your thoughts on your team’s PK tonight…
“Gutsy, I think that’s the bottom line. We showed a lot of character, a lot of poise; we blocked shots, surviving — that’s playoff hockey. I think we really showed that we’re able to do that and I think we showed each other a little more than maybe anybody else. When you play intense, good things will happen.”
Down 2-0 would not be a good position to be in…
“For sure, especially going to Philly, it would’ve made our lives a little more difficult, but we’re really happy that it’s 1-1. We have to put our work boots on have a great performance in Philly over the next four days.”
Did you guys as a group recognize that Kovalchuk hadn’t won a (playoff) game and that it might’ve been in the back of his mind?
“Well we knew because he had only four games experience and if you have only four games experience (laughs) you didn’t win too many games, usually. It means a lot for him to be here; it’s funny, you almost want to talk to him like a little kid, but he’s not. He’s a guy that has a lot of experience; he’s scored a lot of goals, played a lot of minutes and was responsible for a whole organization for eight years or so. Now he comes in (here) and it’s a different step in his career. Definitely for him to get that monkey off his back, people talk about it all the time when you don’t perform in the playoffs or you’re not on the winning side. So I’m sure he’s really excited to get it out of the way and he showed what type of player he is — he was all over the ice, he was aggressive, such a big guy. It looks good for us when you see a top player getting himself involved like that.”
Were you surprised by his aggressiveness today?
“Well we’ve played him in the past and he was really aggressive. When things are not going your way, you have to find a way to make it happen, I think by playing physical, with his size, he’s going to create some havoc around and people will try to go after him and that’s how he’s going to excel; he gets himself in the game.”
You got your big goal-scorer going tonight, Colin White…
“(smiles) It’s funny that you talk about this, but in the playoffs you need that type of goals from different people, different players that you don’t expect. He’s one of them.”
What was the difference from tonight and Game 1?
“Well definitely the PK that we had; six out of seven penalties. I think we did a pretty good job considering that they scored on too many men, and PP. We scored one on the PP and one shorthanded; I think the guys battled well. We got too many penalties at different times, the whole game, but these type of games will happen.”
Did Zubrus score his goal because of his reach?
“I know he reached, but I thought Zach had that goal. But I thought he made a good move in bringing the puck to the front of the net.”
What did you think about Marty in the third period?
“He gave us a chance to win by making that huge save in the slot; the one-timer that I think was from (Ian) Laperierre that shot it. That was a huge save; otherwise they would’ve taken the lead.”
How would you describe Kovalchuk’s game tonight?
“I like Kovy, he might do some weird things according you guys; to me, he just lacks some experience in the playoffs, that’s all that he’s missing. There’s certain things he needs to watch — you can’t get tangled with a guy that plays ten minutes and have to sit out for two. Not when you’re one of the top players, so you have to stay away from that.”
Did you like what you saw from Elias tonight with his 3-assist performance?
“Patrik is playing really well, especially tonight there — moves the puck, controls the puck. When you’re looking at the players he’s playing against, he did a tremendous job.”
Your thoughts on how Corrente played tonight?
“I think he played fine; I just wanted to see, I had really a good memory what he did when he was with us during the season; I always talk to Lou (Lamoriello) about him, when he’s going to come up and so on. I said I’d like to try him and see what he can do on the wing, and that was why he played. His game, he played fine — he got even a scoring chance, which is nice from a guy like this.”
Were you okay with the all of the penalties called tonight?
“Uhhhhhh. Uhhhhhh. I can’t talk about it; I would love to, but I can not talk about this.”
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