HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s third period performance:
Well, you know what, I thought like we’ve talked about in some of the previous games when the third periods haven’t gone well that the second period is maybe when some of the issues started to come up. I thought some of the positives of the second period today – which I thought there were lots – carried through to the third period. Obviously, we got a good start and the puck went in the net for us. That helped, but there were a lot of really good signs for our team in terms of how we retained the puck, which I thought was a real key to this game, in particular. When their team has the puck, they’re a tough team to deal with and I thought we handled that well.
On the team not getting discouraged after the Rangers came from behind twice:
Yeah, the message was just to keep going and stay with it. That was the challenge for us. And the guys did, and it worked out for us.
On what he had seen from Nylander coming into tonight:
You know, I talked with him, we actually met this morning. He didn’t feel like he had a great trip out west, in particular. He said he just didn’t feel good, didn’t feel right, but liked his practice and the work that he had done back in Toronto and was excited to get back and playing. So, you know, we met and talked about some things but really, I thought that Will had a much better here game you today and he got rewarded for it.
On if there’s anything he sees in Nylander’s game when he’s at his best:
Yeah, there were times today where he was doing that, which was just that he has the puck a lot in the offensive zone and guys come to try to get it away from him and he’s evading the check, he’s hanging on to the puck, he’s really difficult to knock off the puck. That’s when I really see his game kind of rounding out and a lot of it’s just because of how he protects the puck. When it’s not going well for him those pucks good off his stick too quickly.
MITCH MARNER (2 GOALS)
On tonight’s win:
I think we controlled the puck. We didn’t throw it away. Kept the pedal down. It’s something we’ve just got to make sure we keep doing in the thirds. It’s something that we haven’t been consistent at. We’ve just got to make sure we keep the pedal down in the thirds. Make sure we’re trying to give teams no space.
On if the team did a good job eliminated what the Rangers wanted to do offensively:
Yeah, I think we had some shifts where we did do that and some shifts where we didn’t. That’s going to happen in the game, it’s going to go the opposite way sometimes. I think we did a good job of bouncing back every time. Like I said, that was a big third period for us. We’ve got to make sure we come out and do that every time.
WILLIAM NYLANDER (2 GOALS, 1 ASSIST)
On the performance of his line tonight:
I think we were moving the puck, we were skating a lot, trying to play tight in the D-zone to get transitions, which we got a few of.
On the contributions of the third and fourth lines:
It’s huge when they come up with goals like that. We need guys that can score when we’re getting deep into the playoffs. The third and fourth line are going to be crucial for us, too.
On the third period:
I think we just had a different mentality tonight. We knew it was tied 3-3 and we had to go out and get the game.
JOHN TAVARES (5 SHOTS ON GOAL)
On the importance of the fifth goal to the team:
It was a great play by [Marner]. Anytime you’re able to extend your lead, especially once you get into the third period, it goes a long way. So, big goal by him. Really stepped up there for the group and gave us the lead and kind of the confidence to then just continue to stay on it and not give them a whole lot knowing they needed two.
On what scoring two quick goals in the third period did for the team’s mindset:
Well, we want to score on all of our opportunities. So whether we’re up a goal or down a goal or up two goals, we want to continue to put the pressure on and play our type of game. Keep the puck, create the chances when we can get them and capitalize when we get our opportunities and obviously, we want to create as many as we can.