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May 20, 2015

Tyler Johnson


Tampa Bay – 6
New York – 5

Q.  I know you and your line are used to celebrating goals, but I think you and Palat were both on the bench when Kuch had that shot.  What did you see there?  Most guys dump that puck in, he put the puck on the net?
TYLER JOHNSON:  I don't see Kuch dump the puck in too much though.  I was changing and almost to the bench, so I didn't really see the shot, but saw the bench jump up, so thought I'd get back out there.
Kuch was pretty happy, but I couldn't quite get there in time.

Q.  What would you say about your team's character of this game to be down 2‑0, to battle back?  Coop said there was a time when this team maybe wouldn't have been able to fight back like that and now it's not really a question.  So what are your thoughts?
TYLER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I can't say enough about the leadership and the character we have.
Like you mentioned, we were down 2‑0 pretty early and able to bounce back.  A little unfortunate that we were able to get the lead, and then they come back and especially get that late goal with two minutes left.  That kind of deflates you.  But I think the guys rallied behind each other and we kept going, and then Kuch was able to finish it off in overtime.

Q.  Tyler, what does Ondrej do to help you, what does Kucherov do to help you to make it all work?
TYLER JOHNSON:  They do everything.  You look at Palat especially tonight; he was playing possessed.  He was unbelievable over the ice.  He's a tough, physical guy.  He's hard to get the puck off of him.  He has skill and he can make plays.
Then Kuch is one of those guys when you think he literally has nothing, he just whips up something and makes something out of it.  You know, they all compete and make my job a lot easier.  I just kind of have to float around for them, so it's great.

Q.  Tyler, you've seen it so many times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a team gets a late goal like the Rangers did.  They come back and win in overtime.  What was the sentiment in the locker room when the Rangers got that late goal?  What was the confidence level?  How did you guys handle that?
TYLER JOHNSON:  Yeah, it was deflating, but at the same time we were talking and we felt like we deserved the game.
We worked hard tonight, and we were happy with the way we played.  Obviously, didn't want to give up as many goals, but things happen.  They're a great team.  So we know if we just kept on playing, and played our game, we were going to get a bounce.  Luckily for us we got that bounce before them.

Q.  I know this is your style, but what allows you as a line to skate with so much speed?
TYLER JOHNSON:  I think it's just Palat and Kuch and I, you know, we can move, we can skate.  So that obviously helps.
I think the biggest thing is they're both extremely smart players.  We like to think that we kind of know exactly what we're going to do before we even have the puck, so you don't really have to take that extra second to look and think.  For whatever reason, we just kind of have that chemistry with each other, and it's been a blast this year.  I've seen some plays that those guys have done that I didn't even think possible, so it's been a lot of fun.

Q.  Is this game conducive to your style of play, these up‑and‑down games?
TYLER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I think maybe a little bit too much odd‑man rushes.  I'm sure they would say the same thing.  But you have two fast teams out there.  Two teams that have a lot of skill, able to make plays and try to push the pace.  I think it was high‑tempo, a physical game, and it was a good playoff game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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