I thought we had a real good start to the hockey game and played a pretty textbook type of playoff game until the third period, when it seemed like we just stopped skating. We turned the puck over and we took two penalties, one high-sticking and one holding. That continued to feed their momentum. They came through in some waves. We made a couple mistakes as far as puck placement, icing calls, and everything got a little hairy at the end.
On Wisniewski: He was down at the end in the Zamboni area, the emergency room people were in place, looked after him, stabilized him. He took a pretty good elbow after the fact too. The puck shot to the upper chest area was enough, but when you’re huddled over and somebody gives you a good, stiff elbow to the chin, it’s a little bit surprising.
On Mike Brown: The fourth line is in a situation where they are to provide energy and safe minutes to us. Brown kills penalties; Nokelainen kills penalteise, takes faceoffs for us. As far as Mike Brown, he’s an energy guy. He comes to play night in and night out and doesn’t change the way he plays. His pressure (on the ice) has been a real boost to our penalty killing. He’s a good teammate. He’s a low maintenance player. As a coach, you just love those guys.
It was definitely a lot of shots, but I felt pretty good. I’m not tired or anything. I can’t complain about it. Sometimes it’s even easier to stay in the game if you get a lot of shots than almost no shots. I think we did a pretty good job of keeping them on the outside. I don’t think they had unbelievable scoring chances. The whole team did a great job defensively.
It’s a team effort. Tonight, we got big efforts from a lot of guys. I thought Mike Brown, Josh Green and Petteri Nokelainen had a great game. I thought for sure they were going to get one tonight. They created energy for us. Everybody is doing their job. It’s one game. Now, we have to focus on Game 4.
I think we should have started better. I think we were tentative at the start. But I thought we took over really well, they hung on and then their goalie played well. We had some good looks, we just have to stay determined and get ready for the next game.
We had a lot of chances last game too. The kid (Hiller) made some good saves, but I thought we were harder at the net (tonight). Not in the first period as much, but from that point on, we had some good looks that didn’t go in. That’s just part of hockey. We’ve played the Ducks in the playoffs before. They always have good goaltending with Jiggy last time and he was solid. We expect nothing different from this guy. We’ve just got to make sure we stay determined and stay focused. We understand the next game is a huge game for us and a real momentum swing game for us.
I think we started a little slow and waiting to see what was going to happen. We have to get it going a little bit better from the start. The further the game goes, the better we get. We get skating, we get pucks behind him. It’s easier to play that way.
They did a good job, especially on the penalty kill. A lot of special teams today. That was the difference.
I thought as the game wore on we got better and better. I thought we got a lot of god opportunities. (Hiller) made some good saves. We had some chances late in the third but we just couldn’t find a way to get one by him.
(What can you improve on?) The start. We’ve got to come out like we did in the second and third (periods). You’ve got to come out loose, quick, fast. We’ve got to get good pucks behind their defense. They lost Wisniewski; we tried to wear ’em down as best we could. We weren’t as crisp and urgent as we needed to be early. I thought we generated some good traffic, shots, it was as tight game. It’s going to be a tight series.