HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK
On the team improvising on the power play leading to Matthews’ goal:
Well, he just shot it. Obviously, we had some real good looks, we had some real good power plays, but didn’t score. Then, we had a couple that were hard to watch. If you look at both teams, the penalty killing was really good for both teams. They didn’t get much done on ours, we didn’t get much done on theirs. In the end, we were fortunate to win the special teams battle tonight and win. For us, an important shot obviously. We were able to tie it, Freddie made some big saves for us. It was good.
On if this game was beautiful like the LA game:
What I would say is the game is way higher end. Obviously, they’re a real good team. They’re heavy, they’re fast and they’ve got a great top six, I liked their back-end tonight, I thought Subban played well. I thought it was a good game. I thought we were better in the first, I thought they were better in the second and I didn’t think there was much to pick between the teams in the third.
On the too many men penalty at the end of the third:
We had a guy on the ice and the other guy wasn’t off. Now, that’ll be our third one. The one was just at the end of the game the one night there just for padding the penalty kill stats, but this one tonight could have been a big deal. A guy going on can’t go on before the other guy. It’s just simple. We didn’t touch the puck or anything, I haven’t seen any overhead or anything to see whether it was or wasn’t. I’m sure it was.
On Andersen’s recent play:
I think we’re 4-1-1 in our last six. Is that right? So, he’s been playing and he’s been gotten better just like each year. He kind of gets through October and seems to kick it into gear and gets feeling good. He’s an important player for us, a good leader for us. We need him to make big saves.
On he sees the team loosening up:
That’s what we said before the power play there, ‘Come on, lighten up here fellas. Let’s just go out there and breathe a little bit and do what we’re supposed to do.’ You know, I think the biggest thing is we’re getting to know each other. I’ve said this a number of times, I don’t know if anyone believes it. It’s easier to play with people you know and over a period of time you get to know each other. I think this road trip we have coming up will be real good for us as well. It appears that the guys are starting to have more fun, interacting more. I see more abuse, which is — I think that’s a great thing, once you have fun having fun together. That’s once you get to know each other.
On if Hyman will return this weekend:
I don’t think Zach is coming until next week. I don’t know all the details, but he’ll give me a heads up. I don’t think he’s around until next week and I don’t know why.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (37 SAVES)
On a strong performance in goal:
It definitely felt like the puck was following me a little bit around so it’s a good feeling. There’s different nights where the puck seems to bounce your way and it felt good.
On his save in overtime and Rielly’s blocked shot:
Yeah, [Rielly] blocked a shot and obviously, it hit a tough spot and bounced right back to [Marchessault]. I just tried to stay with it and tried to make the save.
On the important of the penalty kill when the power play is struggling.
I think penalty killers just focus on what they can control and just try to eliminate their scoring chances when we take a penalty. Obviously, we just keep believing that we’re going to find one eventually and we did. Huge goal by [Matthews] and unbelievable shot.
MITCH MARNER (1 ASSIST)
On a big penalty kill in overtime to give the team a chance to win it:
Yeah, it was nice finally getting some 3-on-3 time in there but, I mean, something we’ve always talked about is staying out of the box, we’ve got to do a better job of that. It’s hard to get even-strength going, but I thought our team stayed patient with it. It’s a big win.
On if team was getting frustrated on the power play:
No, I think you saw we went through a little drought there. It was tough throughout the middle but I thought we were getting our entries there well and that’s a big goal there by [Matthews]. I think that was our last power play we had and we needed a goal and we did it.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)
On tonight’s win:
Yeah, I think in the first period we played well, the second I think they kind of ran that and the third was a toss-up. So, obviously, some big saves from Freddie there, probably by far our best player on the ice tonight. He just kept us in it with the penalty kill obviously at the end of the game. So, just stuck with it. Like you said just stayed patient and a big two points.
On the power play changing its look ahead of his goal:
I thought as we went along through the first two periods, we were a bit stagnant. In the third, we pretty much said, ‘what do you have to lose?’ Let’s move around, let’s get the penalty kill thinking more. I thought we did a really good job of that with different guys going to different areas and reacting, playing off our instincts. Not just drawn up plays, but reacting off one another, using each other and making plays. We spread them out a little bit and were able to score.
JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On tonight’s overtime winner:
I think Mitch [Marner] did a great job reading their entry and causing a turnover and as soon as I read what he was seeing got good anticipation that he was going to be able to get the puck. After that I’m just trying to get available and make the lane as easy as I can if he wants to move it over and that’s what he does best. So, just tried to reward a good play that he made.
On the mindset when the team goes to the power play
Just that we’ve got another opportunity and we’re down a goal so we want to make the most of it. Whatever has happened up until that point, we’ve got an opportunity then and now to give ourselves a chance to get back in the game. Obviously, at times I think our execution wasn’t great but I think we also had a lot of looks on net, we put a lot of pucks there and sometimes it’s just getting those second and third opportunities. I think on that last power play that was what happened. We got some pucks to the net, got some looks and we kept retrieving them, retrieving them and finally were able to wear them down. You get [Matthews] inside the dots and there is no better shooter you want in that spot.