On what he said to Lundqvist after the game:
“I just congratulated him. I know how hard he took that one last night and he answered. So I’m glad we put him back in, I’m glad he played, I’m glad he got a lot of action in the third period and made some great saves. I just congratulated him. I thought he played a great game after a pretty trying circumstance last night. He took it hard last night. So he bounced back really well.”
“What we talked about prior to the game was to feel good about ourselves because I thought we played a really good game, and let’s just continue to play the right way, Before last night’s game, I don’t think we were playing that well. We were winning some hockey games but I thought we lost some of our attitude and being tenacious. We certainly got that back last night and I thought we brought that into tonight’s game. As hard as we had to work to score goals last night, the puck went in tonight, so who the heck knows what goes on.”
“We figured they’re do. They have struggled and they’re such a good team offensively. You need to defend first. We felt if we defended the right way—and I had the match most of the night of Anisimov’s line and Staal and Girardi against their top line, and we just wanted to defend the right way. We defended well last night and that was the biggest point tonight: Make sure we take care of our end first and our offense will come off of it.
“I thought we grinded well in the first period, and then the puck started going in. The biggest play was we scored a second goal. Instead of it being 1-0 and trading and them tying us up 1-1, we scored a second goal to make it 2-0 and it’s something we have struggled to do, to add to our lead instead of trading. And then it kind of took off from there.”
On Staal’s game.
“I’ll tell you, we all know what he is. He’s a very, very good player. He’s growing up, not only feeling so comfortably defensively, but his offensive game is coming. That’s what I really like about our club, all of our D, even when we’ve lost a couple, are joining the rush. We’re being aggressive joining the rush, and he leads the way. That play on the short-handed goal was just a helluva play by him, battling in the corner, Pruster makes a great dump-off to Boyle, and there’s Marc Staal screaming up the ice. You can see he feels it offensively, and that’s his responsibility. He’s a big part of our core, he’s not only going to be one of our top defenders, but he needs to add that part of his game.”
“The exciting part for me, and I don’t want to jinx him but I have to give him a little (credit) here, is Artie. Artie’s played two really good games when before he really struggled. I look at how (Derek Stepan) struggled after he had a great first game and a few good ones after it then struggled. Artie went through the same thing. Now to see him play these two games, that’s good for our hockey team up the middle. He played straight up on Backstrom and I thought he did a great job.”
On the Dubinsky-Ovechkin fight:
“I think that’s good stuff. And, listen, Ovechkin, I respect him. He takes a hit. I think he’s one of the honest stars in the league because he’s willing to hit and take hits. I think Dubi felt—I saw the hit (on replay)—Dubi felt it was low. I’m not sure if it was. I don’t mind what Dubi did at all. That’s good stuff. That’s good for your hockey club.”
On the team’s style:
“I don’t think you’re ever going to perfect it. We’re going to have ups and downs with some of the young players on our club. But I think they believe that’s who they are right now. You can talk about it, I can talk about it, but if they don’t believe that’s who they are, that’s a tough thing to be consistent with.
“And really, other than a couple of bumps in the road so far in 31, 32 games here, they have bought into it. I think it’s a rewarding type of way to play, because after the game, you’re banged up, and who knows what’s gone on along the boards, and you feel good about it when you get a win. And we have to play that way. We’re not a team like Washington, where it’s totally skilled. We have to grind and the guys have done that consistently and we’ve found ways to get points here the first half of the year.”
(see earlier thread about Drury coming back into the lineup)