HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK
On tonight’s game:
I thought we played a good first, I thought we didn’t win any faceoffs in the second and spent more time in the D-zone. We had lots of chances. I was in here the other night and Fleury was real good the other night. I thought he was real good. We had some chances, hit some posts. I think Petan — I could be wrong, I haven’t seen the replay — I thought the net was empty there and Fleury made a great save. The bottom line is we’ve got to stick with it and just keep grinding. We had a chance on the power play at the end there and we didn’t execute on that. It’s disappointing but I’m always about the process and how hard guys play. We played way harder so I thought that was good. I thought Hyman was back, I thought Mikheyev really had a good step. That was positive for us.
On what needs to be changed on the penalty kill:
We’ve got to keep it out. I didn’t think we were that bad tonight on it, to tell you the truth, but they got two on it so that’s not good enough. We’ve just got to keep working at it, we’ll spend more time at it. Maybe early in the year when we didn’t skate as much in the pregame skates, we should have spent more time doing it. We did that because we were trying to keep our guys fresher and the science part of it, but, in the end, you’ve got to execute on those things so that’s on me.
On how deflating it is to give up a goal immediately after tying the game:
It’s disappointing, obviously. We turned the puck over and they came in and shot it in. I still thought we were resilient. We talked about it before the game, we have to show good mental toughness and just keep grinding every shift, shift after shift, whether it goes good or bad. We’ve been guilty of when it goes bad, when they score, we wilt. There’s no sense doing that, just keep playing. I’ve been around a long time, you’re in lots of situations where you don’t win for a while and you end up having a real good year. Just keep grinding.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (33 SAVES)
On the team’s play tonight:
The streak doesn’t really look too pretty, but I thought we made some steps in the right direction today. I definitely think we came ready to play and obviously a great hockey game, too. Fleury played really well down there and I think it could have gone either way. I thought we definitely had something to build on.
On how the team is processing the current stretch:
We had a good talk yesterday to try and improve and I thought we answered pretty well today. It could have gone either way, I think. I got outplayed a little bit by Fleury down there. That happens. Again, I thought we had some good things to keep going.
ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL)
On tonight’s game:
I think there’s a lot of positives to take away from today. I think when you’re losing, it’s hard to stay the course but I think we played really well today. We had our chances when the game was on the line there. It was a tight game; we just couldn’t finish it. We need to be better on the PK, better on special teams there. It was good to get a powerplay goal. I think we took a big step today even though we lost. The next game is going to be really important for us but I think that we can build some confidence from this game moving forward.
On what the team can take away from tonight’s game:
I think we didn’t quit. I think that we stuck with it. You go down 3-1, you can kind of pack it in, but I think we were strong throughout that third period and really pushed back. Fleury made a big save on [Petan] there, [Mikheyev] hit the crossbar. These aren’t excuses, this is just reality. They won the game but I think that we had a chance to win that game, we were in the game the whole way through and we didn’t quit so I think that’s really important and something to build off of moving forward.
JASON SPEZZA (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On if the team can take some positives out of tonight’s loss:
Yeah, definitely a much better effort. It was good hockey game. We lost the special teams battle and that ends up being the game. It’s something to build off of but it’s frustrating. We need to get a win here; it doesn’t matter how it is. If it’s ugly, we’ve got to find a way to get a win.
On what the team needs to do moving forward:
Just work. We can’t take a step back. We laid an egg of a game in Pittsburgh. A better effort tonight, but when you go through these losing streaks, it always seems like it’s harder to dig yourselves out of it, just like when you’re winning it’s easy to keep winning. We can’t take a step back next game. We’ve got to watch the tape and see what we can do better and keep moving forward.
JOHN TAVARES (20:05 TOI)
On tonight’s game:
I thought we were right there. We had a great opportunity in the third and we just didn’t maximize it so we’ve just got to regroup and find a way to get it done.
On his third period hooking penalty:
Yeah, I just got caught trying to lift his stick. Obviously, I’ve just got to try to be smarter and not get my stick caught up.
On Marc-Andre Fleury’s save late in the third period:
It was obviously a great save and a great opportunity. We had some really good looks in the third and we’ve got to find a way to put those in. Give him credit, he made it tough and made some good saves.
On the team’s mindset at the moment:
We want the results. We just want different results. We want to win. It’s obviously frustrating when you’re not getting them and I think we’ve talked about resolve and resiliency and trying to stay with it. It’s all we can do is continue to move forward and find ways to get better and get the job done when we have opportunities like this.