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May 16, 2016

Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Game Two

Pittsburgh – 3
Tampa – 2

Q. Coach, this is kind of, I guess, a generic question, but what did you like most of this win? Especially when they came out of the third period tied, considering they should have had the lead when they dominated it?
COACH SULLIVAN: I just liked our stick-to-itiveness. They just kept playing. I thought we had a real strong first period. It's 2-2 at the end of the first period. But we just stayed with it. We just kept trying to play the game the right way. That's what I like most about the group. I thought, as the game wore on, we got better and better. I give the guys a lot of credit for just staying with it.

Q. Mike, what was your thought process in the third period there, when you gave -- shortened your bench a bit and gave Kunitz a spot on Crosby's wing?
COACH SULLIVAN: I was just trying to create a little bit of a spark with those guys. Sid has had some success with Kuhny and Horny for a lot of this regular season, and I thought I would try to go back to that and see how it went. It gives me an opportunity to move a few people into Sid's line or Geno's line. So I just tried to -- I tried to create a little bit of a spark for those guys.

Q. Mike, the save that Murray made at the very end of the second period, the walk-in by Killorn, do you think that steadied him, and did you ever have any thoughts of going to Marc at any point of the game?
COACH SULLIVAN: It was a huge save, there's no doubt. So Matt's history has been he's always responded pretty solid when he thinks he could have had one and would like one back. I think it's probably fair to say he would have liked that second one back. But, hey, when you look around the league and you watch these guys compete, that's hockey sometimes.
And what we've always really liked about Matt is his ability to respond when things don't go the way he wants them to go or expects them to go. He's always responded in such a positive way, and that's -- you know, that's one of the things we really like about him, and that's what he did. He made a couple of saves in the second period, that one being probably the biggest. It could have been a game changer.

Q. So is that a no, you didn't think about going to Marc?
COACH SULLIVAN: No, I'm not saying we didn't. We always have discussions in between periods on the nature of the game. I'm not going to share the details of the discussions, but I don't want you guys to think that we don't have those types of discussions. We do.

Q. Mike, what was your take on Schultz's game, his mobility, what it brought to the lineup? And how the defense fit together with him in there.
COACH SULLIVAN: I liked his game. I thought he helped us. I thought he helped us get out of our end zone. He has pretty good puck poise. I thought his mobility was evident going back for pucks and helping us get out of our end zone efficiently.
He's got a great shot. So when he's on a power play or even on the offensive blue line, he's got real good poise with the puck, and he brings that to our team. So I really liked his game. I thought it was a solid effort from him.

Q. What did you see in Sid's game even before he scored there? He seemed to have a lot of chances. Did you sense any frustration in him, or did you feel like it was coming for him at that point?
COACH SULLIVAN: No, I think it's coming. I think it's coming for both of those guys, Sid and Geno. I think they're playing the game the right way right now. They got a lot of chances. Their puck possession time is significant, and that's the most important part from our standpoint. As long as they continue to play the game the right way, they're going to help us win.
I'm glad Sid got the overtime winner. I think he got rewarded for a hard effort tonight.

Q. Coach, to have your captain score in that fashion and tie the series up heading into Tampa, what does that do for the team confidence-wise to have their leader step up in that fashion?
COACH SULLIVAN: I think it's a big boost. I think it's a big boost for Sid. I think it's a big boost for our team. Obviously, this is an important win for us to even the series. But I thought it was a collective effort. The whole group, I thought, played extremely well. But, obviously, when Sid gets an OT winner like that in that fashion, I think it's a big boost for our team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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