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May 15, 2016

Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Practice Day

Q. Do you expect Brian Dumoulin to be available tomorrow? Is he out there today?

Q. What's your decision-making process as far as Olli Maatta? Obviously he's been a regular for you, important player for you, and what's that decision to sit a guy like that down if you do end up reaching that decision?
COACH SULLIVAN: Well, the criteria is which guys are going to give us the best chance to win, and it's as simple as that. Do we take into consideration a player's body of work? Yes. And so we talk about a lot of things, performance, trends, how well they're playing. We talk about a lot of things.
But at the end of the day, the decision, the criteria boils down to just that, which group of guys are going to give us the best chance to win.

Q. I know Kuhnhackl and (indiscernible) were out today during practice. Is there any concern at all they might not be available?
COACH SULLIVAN: Just maintenance day for those two guys.

Q. Looked like you were changing up lines a little bit in practice today. Do you like to do that in practice just to see how things look to you, to have it set in your mind for how things are going to go the next day, or do you like to get a look before you make up your mind?
COACH SULLIVAN: It's a little bit of both. Sometimes we throw some guys together just to see if we like it, so it's a little bit of both, I guess.

Q. Why is it, in the last few weeks, what's been the key to you guys not having multiple losses, being able to bounce back from a loss?
COACH SULLIVAN: I just think it's the right mindset. We have to have -- we've got to have a resilience approach. Reality is when you get this far in the Playoffs, you're playing real good opponents. It's hard to win every night. When you don't win, you've got to respond, make sure you respond the right way. You've got to heed the lessons.
We've got to learn what we can from Game 1. We've got to take the good things that we did, and there were a lot of good things that we did. By no means was it a bad game for us. I don't think they saw our best, and that's what I mentioned to you guys the last couple days, but by no means was it a bad game.
We've got to heed the lessons from Game 1, and we've got to just be ready to respond the right way.

Q. I'm sure it's a bit of a relief to see Brian Dumoulin out there in practice today. Just how impressed have you been with his maturation on the whole this year and here in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, kind of taking his game to another level?
COACH SULLIVAN: He's been a key player for us. He's playing lots of key situations. He plays big minutes. I think his game, from the start of when I got here until now, continues to get better. He's still a young guy that hasn't played a lot of games in this league, and we're playing him in some really critical situations, and he's handled it extremely well.
What I really like about him is when things don't go his way, if he makes a mistake or something happens out there that he knows he could have been better in a situation, he doesn't let it affect his game. He just keeps playing, and I really like that about his character, that he responds the right way to those adversities, and every player inevitably has them. When you play that type of minutes and in all those key situations, it's hard to be a perfect player.
That's what I really like about him is he responds the right way.

Q. They have so many tall guys that you actually got to see firsthand the other night. How can you use your speed to negate the length that they have?
COACH SULLIVAN: Well, I think we've got to continue to try to play behind them and not so much in front of them. When we play in front of them, they have good sticks. They have long reaches, and they can use that to their advantage.
But there's some tall guys. They have long levers. I think we've got to force them to pivot and go back for pucks, and we can use our speed and our quickness to try to take advantage of those opportunities.
You know, in Game 1, we did it a fair amount. We had extended zone time. Even strength, I want to say, we spent 57 percent in the offensive zone. So we really liked a lot of things about our game. We just have to continue to build on that.

Q. I know you've been asked a lot about Matt Murray, but you had him at the start of the year in the AHL. What did you see in him that made you think he could handle what he's doing right now?
COACH SULLIVAN: What I see in him is what you see right now. He has -- he has a maturity level beyond his years. I think he responds to adversity extremely well. He has a really good work ethic and preparation process that he puts himself in a position to be successful, and he's a very good goalie. He's made timely saves throughout the course of this Playoffs and leading up to the Playoffs that have given our team a chance to win. I watched him do the same thing when I was in the American League in Wilkes Barre. I think when you combine all those things, there's no surprise as to why he's as good as he is.

Q. Who's going to be goalie for Game 2?

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