Here are the postgame quotes after the Devils 3-2 win over the Islanders last night:
Talking about his goal…
“It was a good play by Kovy and Nick there; the rebound came right out to me and all I had to do was put it in the net.”
Was it one of those, ‘Oh, look what I found?’
“Yeah, it was a lucky bounce for me and found myself looking at an empty net. It was kind of lucky.”
Your team was shutout the last two games, how much did it help for the team to get an early goal tonight?
“Obviously we wanted to come out and play a better game; we’re not happy when we’re not scoring. It was a big goal by Kovy, and it was a good feeling to have it come so early.”
Was it important to get back on the winning side of games?
“It’s definitely a different territory for all of us to go into the final seven games; we know it’s going to be over on April 10 at 6 o’clock. So you have to find that motivation to go out, I think the coaches have been really hard on us the last few days to make us understand that we need to work hard and take this seriously. I think the guys have responded to it, the way we have been working in practice and the way we had this effort tonight. I think it’s important to leave this season with a good taste (in our mouths). We’ve come a long way, played really well in the second half, so let’s not try to destroy that; I think that is the message they are trying to push us towards. It’s definitely tough, we just have to go and say ‘let’s play a hockey game, and we might as well try to win it.’ I think if we keep having good starts like we did today, I think it’ll be easier. If it goes the other way, that’s where we’ll be challenged as far as the effort is concerned.”
Despite the situation is the way that you played, for a long time now, satisfying?
“Yeah, personally he’s been playing me a lot, maybe a lot more than I expected (laughs) to play down the stretch here. But I think for me to feel the way I’m feeling, I feel that I make a difference every game; I just want to keep it up for my own sanity I guess, for the summer, to know that I was able to contribute and still be able to play and make a difference. It was hard on me early on in the season, so for me hopefully I have a few more games to go and I just want to play them well.”
Is it strange when you look at your stats this season and they don’t look like most of your other seasons?
“Well it’s just the wins really; the losses are about the same (chuckles). The goals-against average is the same as last year; so besides the wins, Heddy got the rest for me. But it is not satisfying at all; I’m used to better stats than that. I guess it was bound to happen one year and hopefully we turn it around next year. I’m reflecting the team because I play a lot of games.”
Do you think the shorthanded goal threw you guys back a little bit?
“Yeah I think so. We’ve been working a lot on breakouts, getting the right wing to come out and attack. I think we’ve done it before, but got a little confused and we just gave up a first-half of the season kind of giveaway.”
When you see a breakaway like that, do you immediately recognize who it is coming down on you?
“Yeah I knew exactly who it was. He scored on me on a shootout with that backhand, I knew he was going to go there and I couldn’t get enough momentum. It’s different when you do a shootout then a breakaway; I just didn’t get out far enough to get speed to really attack his backhand. I just kind of stayed flat and he was able to just raise it by me.”
It got a little hairy at the end there where you were sprawling on the ice to make some saves there…
“It got a little dicey there at the end, but we pulled it off. We were cruising, I thought we were playing real well, they had some shots, but the quality chances were really limited. After the breakaway goal they were feeling good about themselves and really came at us the last ten minutes, but we showed some nice character there scoring a goal after losing our lead like that.”
How much of a lift was it to get the first goal?
“After not scoring in two games, it was considerable. That was obviously a big focus coming into tonight — to score some goals. I think it definitely gave us a confidence boost for the rest of the game.”
Were you pleased with your team’s start tonight?
“I thought we played really well until the four-minute power play we had in the third period. The Islanders had some chances and they have some players that move the puck and can beat people one-on-one, they see the ice well; so they will get some chances. But I was pretty happy the way our guys played.”
Were you happy with the way they responded after allowing the tying goal?
“Yeah, definitely; after the power play they had their top line on and I put Patrik’s line out there to play against them and they did a good job. That was an important time in the game, because they just tied it and I thought Patrik and his line did really good against them.”
How important was it to get that early goal to kind of lift some of the pressure off of your team?
“Well we drove at the net, we made plays towards the net that gave us a chance to get these goals; and it’s always good when the game starts, you’re playing well and you get rewarded for it.”
How about Pamieri’s performance tonight?
“I thought he played good, the whole line played really well. They had some chances, the thing with a team like this, their defensemen are good skaters, and their forwards move the puck well. Every time we lose the puck it’s so important to get back (defensively) and this is one thing that we’ve been trying to work with Nick. Sometimes he forgets it, or feels it’s not as important, but he’s getting better and if he keeps doing it he’ll be a pretty good player.”
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