HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On coaching his first game at Scotiabank Arena:
It was fun being here. Different circumstances than when I’ve been here in the past. Fitting that the Marlies were in the building this afternoon, that’s more what I’m familiar with. It’s nice, it’s special. A lot of my family here to enjoy it as well. It wasn’t the prettiest game at times, but we found a way to get the two points and finish off a good week here.
On what he thinks when he watches Andersen make several key saves:
Well just that it’s nice to have Freddie there and it’s nice to have a guy that’s capable of that. You’re going to need that at different times, without question. I thought that gives us confidence as well in doing so. It was nice and obviously he’s a big reason why we get a chance to keep the lead as long as we did and then gives us a chance to get it to overtime.
On the atmosphere in the arena:
Fans are into it. There’s a lot of them, it’s a big crowd. It’s nice to be at home. As I said, I’ve been in this environment before but never quite like this. Never quite as full and never quite as much emotion and energy and all those types of things. It was nice and we’re hoping it gets better from here.
On tonight’s effort:
I would say inconsistent. I’d say that we had some really good moments. I thought the start of the second and the third period, especially, were really good for us. Not where we would want it to be, not what we think we’re capable of. I think we’ve got to give some credit to Buffalo. I think they did a really good job in both games against us and made it a little harder on us than it’s been in previous games. That’s the next phase for us is to try to find a way to play the way we want to and the way we’re capable of when the other team has a good plan and is making it difficult on us.
On John Tavares picking up some momentum on the scoresheet:
I think it’s big. Players that have scored a lot expect to score a lot. Whether you’re a veteran or not, you want to score, you want to feel good, you want to know that you’re making an impact on the team in that manner. We expect him to score, we need him to score. He’s been very good in a lot of other areas for us as well. He’s taking a lot of heavy matchups and it’s nice to see him this weekend and, here in particular, put it in the net.
On his relationship with Tavares as the captain:
He’s been very consistent for me, both in his effort, his performance and, then, just in his demeanor. He’s a very consistent man. He comes to the rink every day, he’s prepared, prepared himself mentally, physically, does the work. He’s got a great perspective to be able to offer me in terms of what the team needs or what the feeling around the team is. He’s also a great voice for the team. He’s plugged into a lot of things that are happening and it’s just been real nice for me to have him to lean on here early.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (29 SAVES)
On if he knew he kept the shot that was reviewed out of the net:
I didn’t know it was that close. I haven’t seen it yet, so you guys had a better view than me. I thought I had it; I didn’t know they were going to go upstairs. I thought it was a save. I tried to get some eyes on the pass and get my glove over to his blade so when he released, I was set up. It was just a matter of trying to get my body across and taking up as much space as possible.
On how much of a change it was to play the second leg of a back-to-back:
It was a little different. We didn’t really have a skate yesterday because of the early game but I made sure to skate a little bit this morning with [Steve Briere]. I think the guys that played yesterday had a little bit more of a relaxed morning and got ready for tonight. That’s just the way I like it. Since I didn’t play last night I wanted to come in sharp.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 ASSIST)
On Andersen’s performance tonight:
I think there were points in the game where we kind of got hemmed in the D-zone and he made some big saves. We turned some pucks over and a couple incredible saves. He kept us in it and we were able to get that extra point which was huge for us.
On what Buffalo did well to limit their scoring chances:
I think they tracked back hard and were able to sustain pressure on the forecheck. As soon as we got the puck, we found we didn’t have as much time and space as we really thought so it was tough to make plays. Similar to last night, I think we’re still four or five games in and trying to find that identity – when to make a play and when to make the safe play and chip the puck out and create some space in behind. I think that’s still a work in progress for us but all-in-all we’re happy to get the two points and move onto the next one.
WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)
On his powerplay goal:
It was a little lucky, I think it hit his stick and deflected off his arm and in. It was nice to get one on the powerplay that’s for sure.
On if he caught Hutton off guard:
I think maybe they thought I was going to pass it backdoor or something, so I had some space to go to the net which was nice.
On if his unit stayed out longer on the powerplay by design:
It’s nothing that we’ve talked about. I guess we just happened to be out there. We’re usually out there for a minute but we just happened to be out there a little longer today.
JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On getting his 400th career assist:
I’ve played with some pretty good shooters. They’re not always pretty. I’ve just tried to play my game and be effective, whether it’s putting the puck in the net or setting up teammates. I want to be able to help my team in different ways. It’s nice to continue to be productive. I didn’t know it was right around the corner. Always good to get it, especially in a win.
On his overtime goal:
Well, my first shot I thought it kind of surprised him and when I got a bit of separation again and had a little bit of a screen, I tested it again. I was towards the end of my shift, so I wanted to be sure with it. I had some good room and I think I got good wood on it. I was able to time it right and happy I picked a corner.