LEAFS 2, LIGHTNING 1. WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: “This is another really close hockey game that we’ve had to play here and, again, at 5-on-5 we were outscored today. That’s been a challenge for us. That’s something that obviously we’ve worked at, but when you’re going up against the best offensive team in the NHL, you’re going to give up a great deal. When we did, Freddie (Andersen) was outstanding, in the second period especially. There were a lot of very good things for us and we’ll take two very important points.” –SHELDON KEEFE

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the team having success putting the game away in the third period tonight:

I think it’s a confidence thing. That’s part of it. So yeah, I do. I don’t think that’s characteristic that a team has. I think it’s something that comes and goes, kind of with your confidence as a team. We haven’t really been going as a team, so we haven’t had that. This is another really close hockey game that we’ve had to play here and, again, at 5-on-5 we were outscored today. That’s been a challenge for us. That’s something that obviously we’ve worked at, but when you’re going up against the best offensive team in the NHL, you’re going to give up a great deal. When we did, Freddie [Andersen] was outstanding, in the second period especially. There were a lot of very good things for us and we’ll take two very important points.

On Morgan Rielly’s play tonight:

I thought he was pretty good, all things considered. He hasn’t played and it’s a tough game – especially in that second period. It’s hard for our defence to get off the ice and they’re really coming. It looked like it was taking a toll on him physically, in terms of his conditioning. It’s one thing to train, as we all know and say, and practice in the gym and all that, but it is a whole different ballgame. Just his legs and the way he skates, all of a sudden, he jumps into a hole – whether it’s offensively or defensively he’ll cover for you – he has instincts along the offensive blueline, waits above for the defensive pucks. He plays the whole game.

On if anything over the last couple of days led to a strong start tonight:

We’ve talked a lot about our starts and consistency in our play. I thought we started really well. It was a combination of a really good start for us, but I don’t think it was a good start for Tampa. I thought we moved the puck extremely well. It was a game we just played with the puck on our stick a lot. That’s when we are frustrating. We just kept coming and had lots of chances, lots of time with the puck. It was a really good period for us in that sense, we didn’t have to defend very much at all. That was a real key for us was to try to keep the puck out of their hands and in their end.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On having a few days between the California trip and tonight:

You have lots of time to reflect, it’s a five-hour flight so kick back and relax and nice to get a couple days off and try to get adjusted back to the time zone and time change and everything. Then have a good day of practice and just try to come out like we did tonight. The second period, I think, it got away from us a bit, lots of penalties but I think our first period is a good starting point for us and how we want to play. We’ve got to make sure we do that more consistently and throughout the game.

On Morgan Rielly’s leadership:

He’s extremely vocal and I think he’s a guy that everyone looks up to. I know for myself he’s one of my closest friends on the team and someone that helped me out, especially my first couple years. I spent a lot of time with him and I still do. He’s a great leader and a great teammate and really good person. To go along with his hockey abilities, he’s a guy we’re definitely happy to have back.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s win:

Well, obviously, the PK was great, and I think our power play got some big important goals today. We played solid through the first and third periods, so we want to clean up that second period.

On what was the key to the strong start tonight:

I think we had a couple days to feel fresh and we felt we were buzzing already in warmups.

On what worked well on the power play tonight:

I think we just kept it simple, tried to move it around and make easy plays and not force anything really. It was really good work.

MORGAN RIELLY (21:47 TOI)

On the important of consistency this time of year:

Yeah, we’ve talked about that before, we’ve talked about being more consistent and I think now more than ever, just given the standings, the time of year and remaining games, I think it’s an opportunity for us to start to play well and build some momentum. I think if you look back to this time last year our performances weren’t what we wanted them to be in time for playoffs and this year we’ve got a chance to fix that and change that. It’s important that we take that seriously and take the good things here tonight and talk about it tomorrow.

On the key to the strong first period:

Well, I think we moved the puck quick; we’re not holding onto it. For me, I think it was just D-zone execution and the importance of that. Going back, if we’re able to breakout, quick and create speed that way, it just seems to be smoother for us. It’s when you go back for pucks and you get beat back for pucks and you lose races, that’s when you tend to get hemmed in. I think that if we focus on that and that rhythm it creates more of a support system and we can move the puck forward with speed through the neutral zone.

DUCKS 2, LEAFS 1. WHAT THEY SAID: “I have belief — full belief — in this team as far as their goal-scoring ability. Obviously, we’re a little snake-bitten right now, but I think they played well enough to score a couple and I just take ownership of that second one. If I can see it, I expect myself to stop it every time and he just beat me clean so that one’s on me and we should have had at least a point.” –JACK CAMPBELL

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the need to attack the opposition’s net to generate more offence next week:

Obviously, when you look at the last couple games on this trip, we haven’t been able to generate much offensively. So that’s part of it. You look at a lot of the goals that we’ve scored here in recent games, a lot of it’s been happening around the net. We need to have more of a presence in there, but it’s an interesting road trip. You’d never think that our team would give up two goals in two games and only come away with one point, you’d probably think we were talking about a different team, but that’s the reality, that’s the way it was this week. The offence dried up for us, a lot of things that have been going in for us haven’t and didn’t on this trip and we don’t get results as a result.

On the challenge of keeping the team’s spirits up after the road trip:

Well, it’s difficult, but I think just the fact that our team takes a lot of heat for how we defend and what we give up and how many goals we give up and all those types of things and how wide-open games are. We’ve focused a lot on that as a team, in terms of slowing a lot of that stuff down. I think we’ve done that for quite a while here now — and now today wasn’t as good as yesterday in that regard, but we’ve got to find ways within that to generate offence. I think that the positives are that our guys will feel good about the fact that they’re playing in these tight games and feel good about the fact on the back-to-back at the end of the trip here that we have our best period in the third and have a pretty strong push throughout the period, but we’ll regroup and be ready on home ice.

On the power play drying up in recent games:

Yeah, it has gone dry. Really, what I’m seeing is a lot of the shots that had been going in for us aren’t going in, in recent games. So when that happens, we’ve got to really look at things and see what we can change and see what we can do a little differently to find some different looks and change things up a little bit. Now, we’ve scored at pretty much a ridiculous pace for quite some time here now and over time those things dry up a little bit and you’ve got to make adjustments.

JACK CAMPBELL (26 SAVES)

On the pressure on him to be perfect when the team is struggling to score goals:

I have belief — full belief — in this team as far as their goal-scoring ability. Obviously, we’re a little snake-bitten right now, but I think they played well enough to score a couple and I just take ownership of that second one. If I can see it, I expect myself to stop it every time and he just beat me clean so that one’s on me and we should have had at least a point.

On his save on Getzlaf while shorthanded to end the second period:

Yeah, it was battling. It was a strange play at the net, it kind of went off a shin pad or something, I made a right pad save and the game kind of slowed down a little bit and I kind of saw it play out. I just tried to get my glove up and luckily, he put it there. So I’ll take that one for sure.

MITCH MARNER (22:26 TOI)

On the level of frustration at the recent lack of scoring for the team:

I just think we know it’s going to come so there’s no need to rush or put pressure on ourselves. We’re a team that can score and this road trip we showed that we can play in low-scoring games, it’s just our scoring wasn’t there, but it’ll come.

On what the team needs to do to generate more greasy goals:

Yeah, I just think those second opportunities. It starts with all of us. From our D to our forwards, we all come up top, we all get those shots through and tonight and through this road trip forward-wise, when we come in as F3, we’re not getting those shots through. We’re making those turnovers happen and getting caught with our D down and I just think ruining a little bit of chemistry and stuff like that. So, like I said, we know it’s going to turn around, there’s no reason to feel like we should put pressure on ourselves and we’ve just got to stay calm with it.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (23:03 TOI)

On the team having the personnel to be able to push through this week’s slump:

We’re all in this together. You play through the good and the bad and the adversity and obviously, in the position that we’re in, there’s lots of critics and lots of stuff that comes with it. But I think in this room we’re headstrong, and it doesn’t matter what’s going to get thrown our way, we’re going to come out of it stronger. Obviously, not the road trip that that we really wanted. So, that’s on us and we’ve got to just build forward and put this aside, learn from it and be better.

On what has prevented the team from generating offence:

I think it’s no secret you come on this road trip, it’s not easy and I think the teams that we played they’re more — their strategy and kind of structure is more to just kind of defend and push you to the outside and let you make the mistakes first. I think for us, we didn’t really challenge the middle of the goalie, he didn’t really have too many tough saves to make. I think that’s a bit of an issue for us right now. I think it’s a little bit of our structure too. I think we’re kind of one foot in the door, one foot out as far as the way we want to play, and I think we just all need to be 100 percent in.

JOHN TAVARES (21:18 TOI)

On what has led to a lack of goals in recent games:

Well, it’s that time of year, things get tighter. You don’t have as much room as maybe you get at times throughout the season. We’ve just got to find a way to get second and third opportunities, get a couple ugly ones. I thought we pressed hard and stayed with it. Obviously, we just didn’t cash in.

On if the struggle to score has led to the team playing tight:

Yeah, maybe. At times, I guess it’s just, honestly, don’t even think about where you’re putting it, just get it on net. I think get bodies there, find a way to cause some confusion, make it tough on them to have to defend you around their net, make it tough on the goaltender. Just got to stay patient, got to keep working and staying with it. Obviously, we’ve got to find a way to put some in and get some results. There was a lot of good things. Just got to find a way to, like I said, get inside that tough part of the ice. That’s tough to get opportunities at this time of year.

KINGS 1, LEAFS 0 (SO). WHAT THEY SAID: “It was a great game, a beautiful game. It was great to play behind a team like that. The way we played made it easy for me. It was unfortunate, obviously, we couldn’t get the extra point.” –FREDERIK ANDERSEN.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On tonight’s game:

I thought it was a pretty even hockey game all the way through. I thought our team did a good job in the game, especially as we got through that first period, staying with the process just with the way that they play, clogging the neutral zone and defend really well. I thought as we found our way through that, adjusted in the second and third I thought we did a good job as a team. It’s a game that really could have gone either way. We’re happy to get one point, we could have two in overtime or the shootout, it didn’t go our way in that sense, but not a lot to complain about for us as a group.

On how the team managed frustration when it couldn’t convert scoring chances:

I thought they dealt with it pretty well at times. I think they were 0-for-3 on breakaways so the guys that are missing those type of chances, you can see there’s a little frustration setting in, but in terms of the way the game was going I thought we managed it okay. At times I felt we turned it over a little bit through the neutral zone, but that’s the number one team in the NHL at holding their blueline. They’re going to make it hard on you, you know that going into the game and they did that at times. I thought we stayed with it, Fred in net was outstanding for us. We just couldn’t find a way to get one in. Tonight is a night where we need our power play to be the difference. So if there’s an area we’d like to certainly be better in, that would be it.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (30 SAVES)

On playing behind tonight’s defensive effort:

It was a great game, a beautiful game. It was great to play behind a team like that. The way we played made it easy for me. It was unfortunate, obviously, we couldn’t get the extra point.

On how he felt after a few days without playing:

I felt pretty dialed in.

On how unusual it is for the team to be shutout:

I mean, he played incredible down there too. So I don’t think that’s odd. He’s one of the best in the League, I think, when he’s on his game. We could have easily scored but he pulled out some nice saves when we had our chances.

KYLE CLIFFORD (5 HITS)

On Jonathan Quick’s performance tonight:

Yeah, he’s a — Quick is a competitor. Obviously, he had a pretty good game and I felt like he stole it for them.

On tonight’s performance:

I thought for the most part we controlled the game, we played pretty well. We had a lot of scoring chances. I’m familiar with them, I know they’re a tight defensive team. It just would have been nice to come out with the win here.

Andersen returns to Leafs crease on Thursday versus Kings — Toronto Sun

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Sheldon Keefe’s head triumphed over his heart. Read More

Andersen returns to Leafs crease on Thursday versus Kings — Toronto Sun

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Sheldon Keefe’s head triumphed over his heart.

Rather than give goaltender Jack Campbell a start on Thursday against his former club, the Los Angeles Kings, Keefe will turn to Frederik Andersen after Campbell was sharp against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Campbell will start on Friday in Anaheim against the Ducks, giving Andersen another rest.

“The biggest thought process for us is we wanted to get Jack in two out of three games this week,” Keefe said. “That trumps anything in terms of him playing against his former team.

“Also, Fred’s our starting goaltender. It makes sense for him coming off (the fact) he didn’t play (Tuesday) night, had a full practice day (Wednesday) and he goes in and plays a game. He deserves that. At this time of year especially, you have to make those right decisions.”

Keefe has spoken of load management regarding Andersen, without using those words specifically.

Andersen has made 50 starts this season, tying him for third-most in the NHL prior to games on Wednesday. Campbell gives the Leafs a legitimate, don’t-need-to-worry backup, and we assume Campbell will be used more in the final month of the regular season.

Defenceman Rasmus Sandin will be back in the lineup after sitting in San Jose, with Calle Rosen likely to be scratched.

— Terry Koshan

SHARKS 5, LEAFS 2. WHAT THEY SAID: “Most of that second period they dominated us. They did what they wanted to and we didn’t win enough puck battles. The only reason we really had a chance going into that third period was because of Jack (Campbell). He played great tonight like usual for us and made it feel possible, got us through that second period and that third we just gave up too many chances. We weren’t stopping on pucks or being strong enough on pucks and it came back to haunt us.” –MITCH MARNER.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On tonight’s loss:

They played really hard today. We just finished a stretch of games here where we played against some of the top teams in the League. For me, that was a harder game for us to play today, just the pace the puck moved, the pace that their feet moved, how competitive they were. Our inability to respond to that and find another level in our game causes a problem where we just — the ice tilted in that second period and we just couldn’t get it back. So that was really tough. The third period to me was pretty even, we just gave up some chances that ended up in our net, but the second period was where they really established their game and took it to us. Strange as it is, that’s the one that we win. We win that period of the three. So we’re in a good spot to try and play there in the third but we gave up too many chances and eventually cost us. You don’t win games when you score two goals.

On Jack Campbell’s play tonight:

I thought he battled all through that second period. There’s a lot of shots, a lot of pucks coming at him. He made some great saves for us there to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win that period and then set us up for the third. Some of the goals — when you look at the goals that go in, there’s some funny stuff happening behind the net, behind the goal line, stuff like that, but he battled and made saves for us. As I said, their goaltender made saves too. We had some real high-end chances that didn’t go in for us, but we’ve got to find a way to generate more than two goals if we want to have a chance to win, and then we can’t give up nearly what we gave up today. A lot of things that haven’t been issues for us in terms of odd-man rushes against and guys getting behind us — we’ve been talking about how we’ve cleaned that up pretty well, but It came back into our game today, I think, in part due to the pace of play, and we just didn’t respond well to it.

JACK CAMPBELL (33 SAVES)

On what San Jose did well in the second period:

I just know they got a lot better. I’m just disappointed. I thought we played, we battled and, you know, I just think Jones outplayed me, bottom line. So I’m not happy about that and I just feel responsible for this one.

On if San Jose is known for lively boards when pucks are shot into the zone:

I’ve played well here before and yeah, I don’t know what was going on there. They must have greased them up before the game. The pucks were coming off pretty strange angles, but no excuses. I’ve just got to find the puck and make the save.

On if he felt any rust after not playing the prior seven games:

No. I felt sharp and dialed in and no excuse for giving up four. It’s just not acceptable.

MITCH MARNER (1 GOAL)

On where the game got away from the team:

Most of that second period they dominated us. They did what they wanted to and we didn’t win enough puck battles. The only reason we really had a chance going into that third period was because of Jack. He played great tonight like usual for us and made it feel possible, got us through that second period and that third we just gave up too many chances. We weren’t stopping on pucks or being strong enough on pucks and it came back to haunt us.

On if the team is still learning how to be more consistent when things go wrong:

I think it’s just the consistency of every shift. It’s just knowing that you want to watch guys go on before you and battle, get in lanes. Coming into this game we talked about how they have one of the best, if not the best guy, at getting pucks through. When that’s happening, we know their game plan is going to be trying to get pucks through on tips, high tips, low tips. We need guys to get in lanes, we need guys to sacrifice for each other and I think that’s something that we’re just missing. It’s just guys needing to buy in more and getting themselves ready.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On trying to play catch up tonight:

Yeah, they play fast. I think the momentum kind of tipped their way and I think we didn’t really do a very good job of getting it back. I think they just kept coming and coming and a lot of times, we just had no pushback. Tough to get stuff going that way.

On San Jose making a big push in the second period: 

Yeah, for sure. I think we just got caught out there and they were able to just continue to play in our zone and kind of tire us out, tire our back end out and just kind of wear on us. So, like I said, they came with a good push there and we just really had no answer.

MAPLE LEAFS 4, CANUCKS 2. WHAT THEY SAID: “I think everyone is contributing. I think that’s been awesome. Great for [Marincin] to get the game winner — what a goal, right? That really gets the bench alive and that was awesome. Obviously, we’re short on staff on the back on D but all those guys are stepping up and playing great. It was three great wins.” –ZACH HYMAN.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On contributions from all lines and D pairings tonight:

Well, the depth guys today did a great job for us. Not only providing offence but they gave us good shifts, worked hard, carried play for us, for the most part, when they were out there. We’re asking a lot of our defence — all our defence that are out there — we’re asking a lot of them to play different roles than they have all season for most of them. Guys did a good job. Marty [Marincin] did a good job all game, and yet had a tough stretch to end the second period there and he got quite tired. I believe his minutes were reaching a minute for [that shift]. He regrouped and made a big-time play there. I’ve come to only expect highlight reels from Marty with the Marlies. Every time he scored it was a memorable goal.

On what he has learned about the group over the last week:

I think just we’re working. We look like what we’re capable of when we’re going about it properly in terms of our preparation and our habits and our work ethic, competitiveness. And, frankly, I thought today we weren’t at the same level we were at on the road. The game was just different. I just thought we weren’t as sharp as we were on the road, so I didn’t love that, obviously. But, just once again, just responding to that first period and finding our way through all the ups and downs of it and then the game settles down and we stayed with it. We didn’t generate nearly as much offence as I thought we were capable of and would have liked to. We got enough to win the game. Not a perfect game defensively by any means, but volume of shots and activity at our net with our defence the way that it is and what we’re asking everybody to do. I think we did a nice job with everybody stepping up and it’s been a collective effort.

On the importance of trying to expand the gap on Florida in the standings this week:

We’ve got to win our games. That’s really all we can focus on thus all we need to take care of. It’s going to be important for us here to take this week, we feel good about it, now we’ve got a little bit of time here before we get going and play on Tuesday and we’re going to travel out there. We’re going to play against teams when you look at the standings that you’re going to think that there’s real opportunity there for us. But we’ve been watching those teams and looking at it. They’ve been playing good hockey and they’ve beaten good teams, those teams out there. It’s going to be competitive games. They’re important games for us, nonetheless. We’ve done pretty well on the road. Obviously, this week we did really well on the road. The sun worked in our favour so hopefully that will continue.

On the connection between the loss last Saturday to Carolina and the three-game win streak:

Well I think the only real connection, obviously, is there’s a real shock to the system when you have a night like that, right? You really get everyone’s attention. So that’s really what I would say. I think — it’s funny how you want to look at it, right? If you look at a six-game sample there, we had three games that were pretty messy. Or you look at a [five] game sample and four out of the five that we’ve played here — the Pittsburgh game on home ice, two road games and tonight. The connection is just we got a wakeup call. When we ended on the road, we got the guys attention on the importance of getting your stuff together, responding well. It’s going to be tough the rest of the way, all the way through, and we can’t have any lapses.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (25 SAVES)

On what has led to the team’s lower event defensive efforts in recent games:

I think we really bought in to the way we want to play, and I think guys are doing a great job of selecting shots, especially down the end and obviously leading to some good goals. Just chill the game and I think we’ve been playing really tight as a group, so the resiliency has been great.

On bouncing back after allowing a couple of goals early:

Yeah, you said it. Just regroup and focus on what’s next. It doesn’t matter what’s happened, you can’t do anything about it early, but the most important thing is to focus on what’s next and that’s the next shot so all I can focus on.

ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL)

On the three-game win streak:

Yeah, they’re not perfect games, for sure, but they are all wins, and they are all games where we’re playing against really good opponents and we have to battle in them and really earn our wins. So three huge games for us and it’s big.

On what he’s liked most from his team in the last three games:

I think everyone is contributing. I think that’s been awesome. Great for [Marincin] to get the game winner — what a goal, right? That really gets the bench alive and that was awesome. Obviously, we’re short on staff on the back on D but all those guys are stepping up and playing great. It was three great wins.

MARTIN MARINCIN (GAME-WINNING GOAL)

On his goal:

I just got a great pass by [Tavares] and the ice was open. I had good speed, so I felt like it was going to be a good shot and I was going to try. It goes in.

On his reaction to the goal:

I was so, so happy. It’s my first goal this season. I was excited for that and that goal made it 3-2 for us. Really good goal in the third period, that was good for the team, I think. I was excited.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On a full team effort tonight:

It’s great, obviously love to see when you’ve got multiple lines with all guys contributing. Awesome to see Marv’s goal, it was unbelievable, so I think everyone was pretty excited after that one.

On if he’d seen Marincin score a goal like that before:

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it before; you don’t see it often from old Marv but when he brings it out it’s usually a treat. It was pretty fun to watch.

LEAFS 4, LIGHTNING 3 — WHAT THEY SAID: “We get scored on first and we don’t let it snowball. I thought we just gathered ourselves and made a couple little tactical adjustments that the guys caught on to quickly. I thought it turned the game for us in the first period there. So we’ve got ourselves the lead and then gave it up, then came back and built an even bigger lead. Just a lot of really good things. Then the third period, we just have to — you know that they’re going to have a really strong push and it’s important for us to not crack. They get the one and we stayed with it even shorthanded on the back end. Some guys battled really hard.” –SHELDON KEEFE.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On what he liked in tonight’s win:

Yeah, a lot of things. We get scored on first and we don’t let it snowball. I thought we just gathered ourselves and made a couple little tactical adjustments that the guys caught on to quickly. I thought it turned the game for us in the first period there. So we’ve got ourselves the lead and then gave it up, then came back and built an even bigger lead. Just a lot of really good things. Then the third period, we just have to — you know that they’re going to have a really strong push and it’s important for us to not crack. They get the one and we stayed with it even shorthanded on the back end. Some guys battled really hard. A lot of really positive things for us in terms of winning a close game.

On if he feels a game like tonight is how the team grows:

I certainly do. I’ve said we talked about, it’s that feeling, it’s going through it, it’s finding a way, it’s losing a leader in the back end in Jake Muzzin. Just finding a way to get it done and not cracking. I thought we did a good job. They had a push, they threw a lot of pucks at our net in that third period, but I think if you were to go through it you would see there wasn’t a whole lot of quality in terms of scoring chances or anything like that. The guys did a nice job of protecting the net and Freddie made solid saves and didn’t let anything get in at the end there for us. A lot of really good things — the penalty kill, power play.

On the severity of Muzzin’s injury:

We don’t know. We’re going to have to see how it is here tomorrow and kind of go from there. He obviously wasn’t well enough to return. We’ll give it tonight and get more information tomorrow.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (26 SAVES)

On the performance of the defence after losing Muzzin for the third period:

Yeah, I thought we did a really good job of just kind of covering up for each other and playing hard. I think throughout the whole group was great today. The PK was great, we generated some offence off of that and some huge momentum and then the power play did their thing, so it was a great game overall.

On Nylander’s goal:

I didn’t see it until after, but it was pretty special. I think it just creates extra reach for him and you don’t really expect it so not everyone can pull that off but good for Willy. It’s pretty.

TYSON BARRIE (2 ASSISTS)

On tonight’s win:

I think it was great. I think we played a really solid game. We had a good response to what happened to us last week. It shows a lot of character in this team, and then having [Muzzin] go down and the guys just kind of battling and grinding out a third period is a really good sign for us.

On what he liked best about tonight’s performance:

I think just the way that we responded to some adversity. We’ve got guys go down and they make a big push in the third, but we don’t break like we have in the past. Everyone just kind of mucked it up there at the end and we got the two points, which is what we need right now.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On his goal:

I didn’t really have time to think, it just kind of happened, but it was a nice to put one in, that’s for sure.

On the play Mitch Marner made to get him the puck:

He had a good stick there and then he waited him out. He put his stick to the inside, so he was able to feed it down to me, which was great because I had some space down there by myself.

On if he was trying to elevate the shot:

Yeah, I can’t really see anything so I’m going by feel. But obviously, yeah, you have to get it up there you want to score. Vasilevskiy is good along the ice, so you’ve got to get it up.

JOHN TAVARES (2 GOALS)

On what he liked about tonight’s win:

Just sticking with it. We didn’t get down. We didn’t get away from the way we needed to play when things didn’t go our way. We did a lot of good things tonight, in terms of the way we want to play the game, to our identity. Also, just this time of year, it’s a battle out there each and every shift. Just staying with it and understanding that it’s not always pretty but just digging in, playing hard, playing as a group, sticking with it, doing what we need to do. It’s one game, so build on it and obviously each game only gets more important as we go.

On how tough it is to see Jake Muzzin suffer an injury:

Yeah, he’s such a key player for us. He’s been playing great. No question it’s a big loss, but at the same time we can’t hang our heads and think ‘why us?’ As a group, collectively, we’ve got to all continue to step up and fill that void and continue to play better. When guys get more opportunity, that’s their chance to take advantage of it, relish it and thrive with it.

HURRICANES 6, MAPLE LEAFS 3–WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s another embarrassing night, right? Embarrassing nights shock the system a little bit, you know? I think this game was different than the others. I don’t think today was a lack of work ethic or anything like that. Today was just our execution. We couldn’t connect on a pass. Part of it is them, they put pressure on us, Carolina pressured us, they were above us, but like you saw on our power play, we just couldn’t connect on passes. The execution was really poor and then you’ve got a team that works the way that they do.” –SHELDON KEEFE.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the loss:

Yeah, it’s a tough one. It’s going to be a tough one here for us to regroup from, it’s going to take a little time. Obviously, disappointing given the way it went for us the other day and we thought we had put together a good process and a good model for what we need to look like and how we can have success. I thought at 5-on-5, our first period was fine. Special teams was a real issue and perhaps signs of what was to come in terms of — especially our power play, I just thought our execution was so poor. It’s a sign our best players just weren’t having a good night. That was more of what was to come in the second and third. Get out of the first period up 1-0, 5-on-5 I thought we had played pretty good, especially the back half of it. A lot of that work was done from our third and fourth lines and the energy and pace that they had. We just were not able to sustain it. The special teams struggle again, this time our power play. Obviously, the penalty kill didn’t get good results, but our power play really had a chance to make a mark in the game and clearly failed to do so.

On if he thought the team expected an easy game after scoring two quick goals in the second period:

No, I didn’t. The reality is that the game really just stayed the same. We got a couple of shots and they went in. Their D hurt his shoulder, so they lost their coverage and allowed John to turn the corner and get his shot. When the goalie switch happened, I talked to the team and said if we don’t change how we’re playing, they don’t even need a goalie. There’re no chances, no shots, there’s nothing happening. They didn’t need a goaltender the way the game was going. Credit to them, we missed pretty well a near open net at the buzzer at the end of the second and could have made it 4-4 going into the third. Really, we just gifted them two at the start of the third. It’s game over from there. They competed hard, they were above us really the entire game and we just continued to pass into it. Our execution was poor, away from the puck was very poor, unorganized. From an execution standpoint, from our best people, especially, it was a real tough night like we’ve haven’t seen from them.

On his relationship with David Ayres:

Great. He’s got great energy, he comes to the rink every day, just wants to work and wants to be a part of it. Whether it’s with the Marlies or the Leafs, he’s always there when you need him. There’s probably not an emergency goaltender anywhere in pro hockey that has seen as many pro shots as this guy who’s in pretty much every day getting work. It feels terrible given that he’s on the other side today from our end of it. On a personal note, you can’t help but feel good for the guy.

On how to get the current mindset out of the team during a playoff push:

It’s just what we talked about before. It’s another embarrassing night, right? Embarrassing nights shock the system a little bit, you know? I think this game was different than the others. I don’t think today was a lack of work ethic or anything like that. Today was just our execution. We couldn’t connect on a pass. Part of it is them, they put pressure on us, Carolina pressured us, they were above us, but like you saw on our power play, we just couldn’t connect on passes. The execution was really poor and then you’ve got a team that works the way that they do. Not connecting makes it really tough to get anything going positive. Defensively, as a unit, our six D probably had as tough a night as they’ve had in quite some time. That’s a bad combination for us.

On Carolina responding to their goalie situation:

There’s a lot focus on the goalie, of course, but they were dominating us before the goalie switch. After it came, it just stays the same. You’ve got to get through five people to the goalie. We couldn’t get to Mrazek when he was in there. The game was the same. It just so happened it was a different guy in between the pipes. The game was the same, the just continued to play hard the way they were before.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (42 SAVES)

On his takeaways from tonight’s performance:

At the end of the day, I’m going to try to focus on what I can do to do better out there and focus in on my tasks. I think I still have got to be better too and frustrating for everyone.

On if he felt a shift in the team’s play after Ayres came in for Mrazek:

I wasn’t paying too much attention to that. I was trying to worry about stopping the next puck and trying to give us a chance. I wasn’t good enough either. Good on Dave, I think he did a good job and I think they played well in front of him.

MITCH MARNER (20:11 TOI)

On what prevented the team from having success tonight:

I just think we didn’t have enough zone time. A lot of one-and-dones, turnovers, especially our line, especially myself. It’s just not good enough. I expect myself to be a lot better in these types of games. Knowing that was a big one, knowing that this team’s going to come out like that, it’s bulls— on my part. Something I’ve got to be better and we’ve got to be better with.

On if the team the team was forcing things in the third period:

Maybe. Like I said, I think we were a lot of just one-and-dones. Our line’s past games, we’ve been dominant down low, we’ve been playing with that confidence and playing, I think, just most of all with just using our willpower and that’s something that wasn’t there for myself tonight and I feel a couple of other guys. Like I said, it starts with myself, I’m supposed to be a leader and need to be way better than that.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (20:27 TOI)

On what the team can do to move forward:

I think it still allows us the opportunity to fix this ourselves. We’ve got to go out there and play. Obviously, the effort wasn’t there tonight and it’s only up to us to change that.

On if the difference between tonight and Thursday is bewildering:

It is. I think we took a big step forward, especially with the previous game, playing the same team, really good effort, obviously. You think you can kind of pick up on that momentum and you want to continue that and carry it into another game. Like you said, a tough week of games against tough opponents and it just wasn’t there tonight.

JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL)

On if he’s ever seen anything like tonight’s game before in his career:

Certainly no. We obviously didn’t handle the circumstances of the game very well. Might have been our poorest night of execution. We seemed like the team that played last night and traveled. We were sloppy and I thought our execution was extremely low.

On the defensive job Carolina did once their second goaltender left the game:

They did a good job, no question they played hard. They’ve got good players, they’re a good hockey team but for the way we played I think we know it’s just unacceptable and not even close to good enough. We didn’t make it challenging at all and knowing once the goaltending situation happened they were going to block shots, they were going to make us have to come through five guys and work to get to the middle of the ice and we just didn’t even come close to making it hard on them that way.

MAPLE LEAFS 4, PENGUINS 0– WHAT THEY SAID: “It was great. I think we responded the way we wanted to. I think the guys played really good. Muzz especially I thought was unbelievable today. Obviously, a great goal and amazing break out pass for Kappy’s goal, I think it was. Overall, a really good effort by the guys.” — FREDERIK ANDERSEN.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On what he liked about the team’s performance tonight vs. the previous two games:

I think we’ve talked about it before. We’ve shown at different times that this is a group with a lot of character and a lot of pride, and we showed that today with how we responded.

On if the performance tonight started with success in the faceoff circle:

Yeah, for sure, those guys had strong nights. I think it’s just a sign of how engaged we were in the game. I would say that was where the game begins in a lot of cases. Guys were hard on the puck in all areas of the game.

On Muzzin’s performance tonight:

Just complete. He battled, he was competitive, he shot one into the net, found a way to get a couple of assists. Just all over the game. He was a real leader for us back there.

On Kerfoot’s role in kickstarting the third line tonight:

Yeah, I think it really helps us. That line has really been struggling for us to find an identity and to find some consistency. It’s tough for us because I thought Kerf was doing an excellent job with [Tavares] and [Nylander] and playing well there. Just talking we said the acquisition of Malgin gives us an opportunity to give him a look with those guys. I just thought that Alex could bring something back to that line. We wanted to give him a chance to be a centre and get that line going. The wingers, Engvall and Kappy, are two guys we think have more to give us. That happened today.

On Andersen’s performance on a late first period penalty kill:

Yeah, he was excellent. He was perfect, he keeps it out of the net. He battled, he looked solid there. It was just a really good sign for our team. He made saves on the pucks that they were throwing around the net, but there was also a lot of loose ones hanging out there. Our guys collapsed real hard on the loose pucks to maybe not necessarily get it out like we would have liked, but at least kept away from our net and allowed us to settle the game. I thought that penalty kill was a really important time in the game, obviously it didn’t crack. It was a good chance for our penalty kill, which had been outstanding for us. I think the 12 games or so in the month leading up to the game in Pittsburgh we had the number one penalty kill in the NHL. So the penalty kill has been really strong for us and today was a chance for us to bring it right back.

On Kapanen’s impact on the game tonight:

That’s what he’s capable of doing. That’s the impact that he has on our team. So just really great to see that. It gives us consistency all throughout our lineup.

On the challenge of trying to maximize the team’s performance after the last two games:

This season is going very different; different things. It’s going to require different things from me, it’s going to require different things from our players. We didn’t like how the last little bit has gone. I was excited about the opportunity to get to work yesterday and put in the work and respond. You’re playing against the same team, it has a playoff feel to it when you take a beatdown in the first game, you have a chance to regroup and make a plan and push your team, challenge the team, motivate your team. That’s the best part of this game. I was excited about it; I think our players were too and it showed tonight.

On if there were any keys to getting the right response from the team after Tuesday:

I think there was a lot said, a lot done and all that kind of stuff, but a part of it too is you just don’t like to get embarrassed. Our guys have a lot of pride in themselves, a lot of pride in the jersey and the organization. So, we could have said or done nothing, and we might have gotten this type of response. We’ll never really know. Regardless of the route, we like that we got the response, we like the outcome, we love the result. Get the shutout and didn’t give up much against a very good team. I thought we controlled play for good chunks of time against a very good team. A lot of really good healthy signs here so we’ll enjoy it.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (24 SAVES)

On the effort from the team’s blueliners tonight:

It was great. I think we responded the way we wanted to. I think the guys played really good. Muzz especially I thought was unbelievable today. Obviously, a great goal and amazing break out pass for Kappy’s goal, I think it was. Overall, a really good effort by the guys.

On the team scoring first and building its lead:

I think it goes without saying it’s better to score than give anything up. I thought we did a good job.

On if the team defended differently late to shut down Pittsburgh’s attack:

No, I thought we just stuck with our game for the most part of the game. We played a complete effort. That was a great response by everyone, I think, the way we want to be like.

KASPERI KAPANEN (1 GOAL)

On playing with emotion tonight:

I think the whole team showed a lot of emotion tonight, not just me in particular. You know, that’s the outcome when we play like that, we play with emotion and we stick to the structure and play the Maple Leaf way. That’s what happens and it was a good game throughout.

On his fight:

Stuff happens on the ice. I think Sandin got hit there and if it wasn’t me out there, I’m sure someone else would have stood up and defended one another. He came over and it just happened.

ALEX KERFOOT (1 ASSIST)

On Kapanen dropping the gloves:

It shows emotion, that’s what we were looking for. We wanted kind of a little more bite to our group. He’s a fiery guy at times and he had a great game tonight.  I thought he was all over the forecheck, he was physical all night. When you see a guy like him drop the gloves, everyone on the bench gets a boost from that.

On if it’s frustrating why the team can’t have this effort more consistently:

I don’t think frustrating is the right word. I think maybe it’s disappointing the effort we’ve had a times this year but whether you’re a team who wins games or can’t win games, every team in this league can win games so it’s not a matter of we’re some upper echelon team that on certain nights can win games — I think that there’s a lot of teams in this league that when they’re playing well can win games. We’ve just got to find that energy, that bite, that jam that we had tonight and be able to bring that on a consistent basis.

DENIS MALGIN (FIRST GAME AS A MAPLE LEAF)

On playing his first game as a Maple Leaf:

I was trying to do my best you know, I felt good.

On playing with Tavares and Nylander:

It’s a great opportunity for me and now I’m just going to build off it.

On what being traded felt like:

Actually I don’t think so much, so I just took it and I was happy to be here.

WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)

On tonight’s win:

I think it was a solid team game. I think this is what we needed. We had two terrible games, so to come back this is a good start, but we’ve just got to stick with this kind of game and keep playing like this and we’ll be good.

On what led to this effort after two straight losses:

Getting ready for the game, it’s just think that we haven’t been practicing so much and yesterday was a battle practice so we got into that kind of mode again. I think that was a good practice for us just to refresh in those kinds of areas of the game, which needed to improve.

JOHN TAVARES (2 ASSISTS)

On what he liked from the team tonight:

I think the intensity of the group, the way we started. It was a tight hockey game and we just stuck with it, got our opportunities, capitalized and didn’t let up in their end, I think that’s key for us. Good win, but obviously we’ve got to turn the page and get ready for Saturday. Lots of big hockey games coming up.

On the team’s success in the faceoff circle:

Yeah, we got a couple [goals] off them, so you just try to be as well prepared for those situations and those scenarios and take advantage of them when you can. Great shot by Muzz on the first one and then anytime you get a 5-on-3 and you’re able to win it clean, you’re able to get a good look right off of it. So good play [Matthews], great shot by Will. Just good areas to be sharp in and we generate a lot just everyone competing, hard work and fighting for their space and that led to open ice and good looks and following up on second opportunities.

PENGUINS 5, LEAFS 2 — WHAT THEY SAID: “I mean, it’s frustrating. We don’t think we’ve played this poorly since the last time we were in this building a few months ago. It’s obviously frustrating, but I mean we’ve got 20 plus games left obviously, we need to have more urgency in our game. We’re running out of time and have to start playing some good hockey here and really figure it out within this locker room going forward because obviously you only have a certain amount of games left and we’ve got a pretty tough schedule here coming up.” –AUSTON MATTHEWS.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On what the process is for a team getting its confidence back:

Well it looks like the process that we want to go through is to just get embarrassed enough to the point where we just really look in the mirror and recognize what’s required for us to be able to compete at a high level at this stage of the season.

On if he is bewildered with recent performances:

Yeah, I am. It’s a different issue again today. We’ve talked about that. It’s been a little bit different each night. So if you had special teams on your bingo card of things that are hurting our group, then you’re happy today and get that one filled. But I think, ultimately, as we look at the different things, whether it’s giving up leads in the third period a couple weeks ago or getting scored on early on home ice or today special teams or what have you, I think the common denominator is just that the overall urgency and competitiveness of the group — I mean, special teams are the issue today, but we get a power play early in the game, we get a chance to take a hold of the game on the road against a very good team and we’re just not there. They’re just competing at a higher level than we are and then they get their chance and they just make it pretty clear what the difference is.

On if the team relies too much on skill rather than hard work:

It’s an easy narrative to latch on to. I don’t think we were relying on our skill or our talent or our work ethic at all today. But it’s not just today, and it’s not everyone either. Some guys are there consistently. You see the difference between a team that’s good some days and not so good others and a team that’s good all the time, no matter who’s in the lineup and you see that in the game tonight, the difference between them and us. They just work and when you do that, then the skilled players are having the puck a lot more and good things are happening and all that kind of stuff. We have to make a decision here what we want to be as a team because we’re going to run out of games.

On how the group finds urgency:

It’s a good question. I think it’s a decision to be made, obviously I have a role to be played in it in terms of demanding it from the group, in terms of accountability amongst the group, all those kinds of things. I think what’s happening here is as the injuries have piled up and as the schedule has gotten harder and the League has gotten harder, the time of the year and how desperate and urgent things are, more and more issues are coming up with our group in terms of some of our habits and details that are lacking and that’s where our team really has to grow. The skill is there, the other part of it has to be there. Without that foundation you don’t have a chance.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (19 SAVES)

On the difference on special teams tonight:

I mean that’s a big part of the game. I think they capitalized on their chances, we didn’t and that’s usually when a team wins that category that bad, usually they come out with a win.

On his level of concern with the team’s recent performances:

It’s not been good. I think today was good lesson in seeing a team that’s built championship teams and they haven’t really missed a step. Every time they’ve had a guy hurt, they have another guy coming in and playing their bag off with their effort and their detail. Something we can learn from and hopefully we can, like I said, use it and learn from it, but we better do it quick.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On if special teams told the story tonight:

Just early we had a power play and they were pretty quick and obviously still sleeping and then they get their power plays and they capitalize on pretty much all of them and that’s pretty much the story of the night. We just weren’t good from the start.

On his level of concern and wanting to turn things around:

I mean, it’s frustrating. We don’t think we’ve played this poorly since the last time we were in this building a few months ago. It’s obviously frustrating, but I mean we’ve got 20 plus games left obviously, we need to have more urgency in our game. We’re running out of time and have to start playing some good hockey here and really figure it out within this locker room going forward because obviously you only have a certain amount of games left and we’ve got a pretty tough schedule here coming up.

JAKE MUZZIN (1 ASSIST)

On what the team needs to do to move forward:

Well, everyone’s got to take a look in the mirror, and we’ve got to be better. That’s unacceptable. We’ve got to find the urgency, the passion, the love of the game, the love to compete for each other. All of that needs to come. I don’t know why it’s not there. I think sometimes we, like I’ve touched on earlier, when we struggle, we want the easy game. When you play good teams it’s not going to be easy.

On what a hard game looks like:

A lot better than that. On the forecheck, finishing checks, working their D, talking in our zone, quick exits, a way better penalty kill, a way better power play, responding the right way, getting mad at yourself for not performing the right way. Lots of stuff.

JOHN TAVARES (15:48 TOI)

On tonight’s loss:

Well, we got dominated in special teams. We just didn’t respond very well at all when we faced some adversity. Our urgency just doesn’t seem to be there consistently. I don’t know what else we need in front of us to motivate us. We’re obviously at a crucial point in our season and time of year. You know, we’ve only got so many games left and we’re fighting hard so we’ve got to determine what we want to do.

More on tonight’s loss and turning things around:

Obviously, the way that special teams went today really put us in a tough spot. When things don’t go our way, we’ve got to find better ways to respond. We just don’t respond very well getting down a goal, getting down two even though the game wasn’t being dominated on either side for either stretch. We did some decent things early and then we seemed to, I don’t know, either get frustrated with the way we’re playing or feel like things aren’t going our way. That’s this time of year, things are going to be hard. You’ve got to find ways to overcome it.

SABRES 5, MAPLE LEAFS 2 — WHAT THEY SAID: “To me it was pretty apparent from about the 10-minute mark of the first period on that we didn’t have it today. So, I was frankly I was a little stunned that we had the surge we did to start the third, just because we just didn’t seem to have it today. So I was impressed with our team and how we pushed and how we started in that third period. Like I said, we could have been ahead in that game. A penalty goes against us. We didn’t like the response there, but it seemed liked we played and defended tired for most of the game and just made life really easy for them.” — SHELDON KEEFE.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On tonight’s game:

Well, obviously, for the first 10 minutes the first period, I thought we were fine. Not a lot happening really either way, but I thought we were fine to start the game. It got away on us in the second half of the first and then all through the second period, for the most part we weren’t really even in the building. We regrouped, had a really strong surge to start the third period, put ourselves in the position to tie the game. I thought we had some chances even to take a lead and then got off-kilter there with a penalty call against us and that goes in on us on the penalty kill. We obviously didn’t recover or respond well after that.

On his level of concern with the team handling tonight’s momentum swings:

To me it was pretty apparent from about the 10-minute mark of the first period on that we didn’t have it today. So, I was frankly I was a little stunned that we had the surge we did to start the third, just because we just didn’t seem to have it today. So I was impressed with our team and how we pushed and how we started in that third period. Like I said, we could have been ahead in that game. A penalty goes against us. We didn’t like the response there, but it seemed liked we played and defended tired for most of the game and just made life really easy for them.

On Andersen’s play in goal tonight:

Yeah, probably the one positive I’ll take from the game is Fred was able to get a lot of work today. Our goalies haven’t had a lot of work for quite some time in terms of the shots and chances against. So it’s a chance for Fred to get his confidence and get a lot of pucks, a lot of action and a lot of movement in the puck. Buffalo was really good today. We weren’t good at all, but I was impressed with Buffalo today. They moved with the puck with the skill they have, the depth, all four lines — they didn’t give you any shifts off — all six defence, their goaltender was very strong. We didn’t get a lot of action, but when we did get around the net, we had a lot of really good looks. He was excellent for them to not really let us get any sort of real momentum, but I was impressed by their team today. It was a lot of action for Fred.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (31 SAVES)

On how he felt in tonight’s game:

Yeah, I just tried to focus on what I had to do on my part and obviously, we didn’t come up with the win so disappointing.

On his teammates feeling like they left him out to dry:

I don’t know I think everyone’s going to go through ups and downs, so I didn’t really think about anything I just tried to do my part. That’s all I’ve got to say.

ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL)

On Buffalo’s three straight goals in the third and playing three games in four nights:

Everyone plays 82 games so 3-in-4 doesn’t matter. They got the momentum there on the power play and they scored two quick ones after that on two mistakes, one of them being mine and that’s it. That’s the game. It’s 5-2 and it’s hard to come back from that.

On what allowed the team to push early in the third:

Well, I think Freddie gave us a chance to win the game and I think we were in the game, down 2-1 going into the third. We were lucky to be down 2-1 going into the third. We came out and started the third strong and then that power play. After that there was a three-minute stretch there where they got three and then the game was over.

JASON SPEZZA (1 ASSIST)

On the momentum swings in the third period:

Yeah, we did a good job to make the push in the third and then they get the power play goal and we give them two more. At that point of the game we’ve got to find a way to drag points out of this. Fred played phenomenal for us and gave us a chance to be in the game and we probably didn’t deserve to be after two periods. These are games you’d like to see us drag points out of.

On the team’s ability to put together a full 60-minute effort:

It’s a tough time of year. Teams are going to take momentum; I don’t think you’re going to get 60 minutes of dominant hockey. You’re going to have to understand that you’ve got to control the momentum swings a little better than we did. You can’t give up three, the other team gets momentum and, for us, it’s being able to halt their momentum and get it back coming our way. It’s a tough time of year, you’ve got to drag points out of games, it’s a lot of hockey in a short period of time. We have to find a way to be better to get more points.

JOHN TAVARES (18:04 TOI)

On tonight’s third period after tying the game:

Yeah, we got ourselves back in it in a game that we probably didn’t deserve to be in. We stuck with it and found a way; Freddie gave us a great chance and then we just make mistakes. Obviously, a great opportunity to grab some points, find a way to get a win and let it get away from us.

More on the third period:

We didn’t execute and they came hard and played hard and we just didn’t match them.

MAPLE LEAFS 4, SENATORS 2–WHAT THEY SAID: “I liked a lot about our third period. Maybe three or four of our best chances of the game come in the third period there, we could have really blown the game open, but their goalie made a bunch of saves and let them hang around, so it made it interesting. Luckily, we got the bounce to go our way on the empty net, which I think we earned that bounce through our play with it.” –SHELDON KEEFE.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the win starting with Campbell’s play in goal:

I would say in part. Soupy played a good game for us today. I thought our team played a good hockey game. You know, I thought we had a really good second period, they pull the goaltender, it changes momentum a little bit and I didn’t like how we responded for that final segment in the second period. But I liked a lot about our third period. Maybe three or four of our best chances of the game come in the third period there, we could have really blown the game open, but their goalie made a bunch of saves and let them hang around, so it made it interesting. Luckily, we got the bounce to go our way on the empty net, which I think we earned that bounce through our play with it.

On the opportunity to coach a game in Ottawa:

Well, it was special for me and nothing to do with the game or anything like that, but just a chance to see many of the people that were important in supporting me and my family through our time in Pembroke and the operation of the Lumber Kings. To have them in the building and have a chance to thank them each in person was important to me. Anytime when I think about the chance for me to coach in the NHL, right away I would think, ‘How can I thank those people?’ I can never say or do anything to really repay them for everything they sacrificed to give me a start and a foundation to be able to coach at that level. But having them in the building was special, and I was happy that it worked out.

On his evolution since taking over as head coach:

I think I’ve grown as I’ve learned about the League and the schedule and how quickly you have to reset for the next day and also how important framing each win or loss or adversity for the team because you have to manage the emotions because you don’t have time to let things fester. You’ve got to deal with things. So that would be the biggest thing and the biggest adjustment coming from the American League, just how quickly the games come at you and kind of relentless especially in this month. 

JACK CAMPBELL (25 SAVES)

On if it matters whether the team is playing on the road and at home:

I don’t it does. I think the team plays great no matter what the situation is. Just happy to be here and glad the boys played so well and got two points.

On being 3-0-1 in goal since his arrival:

I would have loved to have kept that Scandella shot out in Montreal so we would have had six out of six, but I think the boys have played really well and we’ve gotten some big points. With Freddie coming back it just gives us a lot of momentum. We’ve got a pretty busy schedule here, so we’ve just got to hit the reset button tomorrow and be ready to go.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On Campbell’s play in net tonight:

Yeah, Soupy was great for us. He made some huge saves. I mean, you see him in there and he’s having so much fun. He just loves to compete and loves to battle for the guys, he came up with some big saves and obviously a big two points for us to pull out.

On his goal in the first period:

I just tried to wait him out and then saw a little bit of an opening and just tried to sneak it in there so that’s about it.

JAKE MUZZIN (1 GOAL)

On his goal in the second period:

I just saw traffic in front and just wristed one in there and it found its way through. It’s nice to get one once in a while.

On if there’s a secret to the team’s road success:

I don’t know, maybe that workman mentality coming in here, getting two points and getting out, that type of feel to the game and into our team. We did a lot of good things tonight and we’ll look to build on it and continue going forward.

On the importance of getting the first goal:

We always want to come out and have a good start, especially in away buildings and tonight we were able to get on the board and get going.