PANTHERS 5, LEAFS 3 — WHAT THEY SAID: “(Frederik Andersen) went through that whole (concussion) process. My understanding is the results were positive on that. Given the nature of the injury, we wanted to take caution and give it time. We’ll give it tonight and see how he is in the morning.” –SHELDON KEEFE.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On Frederik Andersen’s status:

I guess he’s feeling better. That’s what I’m told. They’re just going to have to give him the night and see how he is in the morning.

On what collision caused the injury:

I don’t know those details.

On if Andersen underwent concussion testing:

He was, he went through that whole process. My understanding is the results were positive on that. Given the nature of the injury, we wanted to take caution and give it time. We’ll give it tonight and see how he is in the morning.

On if he knows whether Andersen will travel to New York tomorrow:

No. We’ll see how he is in the morning and if he’s on the ice for practice and all that kind of stuff. Practice hasn’t been ruled out for tomorrow at this point.

On the team’s play tonight:

I thought we played a really good game. If we play that type of game 100 times, we probably win 99 of them, something in that neighborhood. But you don’t get the points and that hurts. Obviously, we get the 3-1 goal and it should be over from there. We lose our focus a little bit and then we let them get the second one, and we just never really recovered. That was a challenge for us.

On the loss as an example of the team’s immaturity:

Yes and no. The result sucks, right? I don’t think the result is in any way indicative of the way the game went. When you talk about the maturity of our team, a lot of the narrative is how we can’t defend. That’s the best defensive game we’ve played the entire season. I don’t know if we gave up over four scoring chances at even-strength the whole hockey game. That’s the way it goes. We would have liked to have more offence and score more and grow a bigger lead. We had plenty of opportunities to do that and we didn’t. We let them hang around in the game and then, as I said, we did lose composure, I thought. Not composure, but just got distracted by the 3-1 goal and perhaps that’s an area we’d like to have back and do better job of. There’s a lot of things to like about what we did today.

On his level of confidence in Hutchinson if he needs to take over as the starter:

I’m not going to answer that tonight.

On how Hutchinson fared coming into the game after Andersen’s injury:

Obviously, it didn’t go very well but it’s a challenging scenario. He comes in cold and he’s not expecting to play. He goes in the second period and other than a couple of dump-ins, I don’t know if he had any shots. So that’s a tough ask of any goalie. He is part of the team and wants the opportunity and he’s in the net. You’d like to see positive results. I’d take a lot more from the games played for us previous to tonight.

MICHAEL HUTCHINSON (10 SAVES)

On the challenge of coming into a game cold:

It’s definitely difficult. It’s one of those things that you try to do your best to get your body ready and prepared. It’s probably the hardest thing in pro sports as far as going in cold. Baseball players have bullpen, football quarterbacks going in cold can throw a few balls on the sideline. As a goalie, you go from sitting around to jumping right in the game and being thrown right into it. So I thought our guys did a great job playing the second period and letting me get a chance to get my feet wet.

On when he knew he was going into the game:

A few minutes into the second intermission I got the heads up I was going in.

On his mindset if he needs to play more often going forward:

The same as it has been. Just take it one day at a time. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing every single night or once every two weeks, you have to approach each day. Try and get better and try to take advantage of each day and if I happen to get more starts than that, that’s what it is. Hopefully Freddie is good.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s loss:

I think it just got away from us. We played 45 to 50 minutes of really, really good hockey. Some of our best over the last couple weeks and then we had the puck quite a bit, we had plenty of chances. It just got away from us, I think. Just maybe a lack of focus and concentration and obviously we didn’t take advantage. These were valuable points that were on the line for us and we were in a really good spot going into the third.

On the team’s reaction after Andersen didn’t return in the second period:

You’ve still got to play. He’s a big part of this team, obviously, but when he goes down, we’ve got faith in Hutch. We just didn’t play well in front of him for the last 20 minutes.

On the focus shifting back to the week’s upcoming games:

Yeah, absolutely. We have three more games. This is a team that is obviously in our division and these were important points. This one got away from us, move on to Wednesday in New York and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

WILIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)

On what happened in the third period following a strong first 40 minutes:

I think we just relaxed a little bit and they capitalized on their chances and that’s obviously something we can’t do.

On how difficult it will be to turn the page after tonight’s loss:

No, it’s fine. We take what we did well from this game and move on. There’s nothing about being upset about this.

JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL)

On a tough loss tonight:

Yeah, obviously disappointing. It’s not going to be a good feeling leaving the rink, especially I think overall the way we played, we got sloppy early in the third and just didn’t do a good enough job exiting our zone clean at times. That obviously led to some of their opportunities. There’s a lot of hockey left so we just have to turn the page as disappointing as this one is we have to get ready for three more this week.

On making sense of the third period breakdown:

Well we came out really well, got a big goal and, for whatever reason, we just didn’t have a good response, good momentum after that and led to some opportunities and they started to get some belief and some momentum and we weren’t able to do a good enough job the rest of the period.

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