Here are the line combinations from Friday night:
And here are the postgame quotes I was able to record:
Talking about the game…
“It’s been six days since we played a hockey game so, I think with the environment, we were really excited to get (the season) started; things like that happen once in a while. It’s behind us now; I thought we played well in different parts of the ice. Defensively I thought we did a good job, just little turnovers here and there that were not really necessary and they capitalized on it.”
Was it a good shot that Loui Eriksson scored on the winner?
“Yeah, it was a tough shot, a tough play for everybody. It’s pretty rare that we practice that — a 2-on-1 from there zone — the guy had lots of time. I think (Brad) Richards was well covered and it became almost like a breakaway; he was able to pick a corner.”
Was the game a little more wide open then you would have liked or is that the way this team is going to play?
“I think it’s going to be what it’s going to be. It felt wide open because of the excitement of the game, but I think guys didn’t have much room to make plays, especially in our zone.”
The crowd was loud and into it tonight…
“Yeah it was fun, it was disappointing to not get a win for them because they supported us real well. It was playoff hockey out there, it’s the first game, there’s a lot of excitement building up for the opener and it was fun to be a part of it.”
It seemed like the turning point was when (Ilya) Kovalchuk almost made it 3-0 and hit the post and then they came down and scored shortly after…
“That’s hockey; we have to capitalize — he made a great shot, it just didn’t go in. Same thing the way Richards beat me clean and hit the post there in the third. It was the first game. I think we have to be somewhat pleased with some of the things we did, but we just have to clean it up a bit.”
Big challenge coming up tomorrow night going to Washington?
“Yeah it’s always a challenge to go there. They’re a good offensive team so we’ll have to play well defensively and expose what their weakness is. I don’t know what changes they made, I don’t know what kind of team they have (yet), I haven’t really looked. I’ll look tomorrow at what they have and try to expose what they need to.”
Washington tomorrow, Pittsburgh on Monday so things don’t get easier…
“Hopefully it will get easier later (laughs), that’s the way it goes usually. But it’s pretty rare that we start (the season) with so many games, like six games in ten days. Usually we trail teams by three games after the first week in games played, so this will be a little different look; we just have to get going quicker.”
Will you be starting tomorrow?
“I’ll be on the ice somehow.”
On your goal did the puck bounce a little bit on you?
“No, I was originally going to try and pass it back to Kovy, I kind of picked my head up and saw that (Kari) Lehtonen was down and out so I had some net to shoot at.”
How was Dallas different after they called their timeout?
“I don’t think they really did anything differently, I think we kind of did a lot of things to ourselves by turning pucks over.”
Obviously a disappointing result, but how do you feel you guys played out there tonight?
“I think we had some good spurts during the game. During the first and third I thought we played well, in the second period was when we turned the puck over a little too much and gave them some life; that’s where they got some scoring chances and goals from. We just have to be better in that aspect of the game — and we will be. It’s the first game, we did some good things and hopefully we can continue to build.”
Can you talk about the play where you scored on?
“We came up the ice on a 3-on-2 and Kovy made a good pass to me in the middle. I kind of fanned on the shot or it got tipped or something and I got lucky and the puck got through the goalie.”
It was kind of a soft shot, was that your changeup?
“Yeah, exactly a little changeup. We’ll get better as the games go on here.”
How was John MacLean behind the bench in his first NHL regular season game as a head coach?
“He was good, he was vocal, he was encouraging us positively the entire game. That’s what you expect from a coach. It was his first game and I’m sure he was excited to be there. He’s a good fit for us.”
I heard your former teammate Bobby Holik say on the radio the other day that you will be one of the most improved players in the league this year, your response?
“(laughs) I guess I owe him a diet coke or something. I’ve been working on my game and trying to get better; I’m playing on a line with two great players so I’m sure they’ll make me look good a lot of the time.”
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