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NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: LIGHTNING v PENGUINS


May 22, 2016


Mike Sullivan


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Game Five

Tampa Bay 4
Pittsburgh 3


Q. Mike, what did you see from your "D" tonight, how the players worked out, and what you got from them as opposed to what you were hoping to get from them?
COACH SULLIVAN: I thought our defense played a pretty good game. I thought they were pretty solid. They were moving pucks out of our end zone. They kept the game simple. They made some plays along the offensive blue line. So, yeah, I thought they played a decent game as a group.

Q. Mike, you spent a lot of time talking about the resilience and the fiber of character of your team. Can you talk about how that's tested now and how you expect to respond facing elimination for the first time with back-to-back losses since January?
COACH SULLIVAN: Yeah, you know, this is the first time we've been in this position. I know that our guys will respond the right way. They have for four months, five months now. So any time your back's against the wall, you have to heighten the urgency even that much more, heighten the intensity that much more.
I told them after the game it's disappointing, we're all disappointed we didn't get the result tonight, but we can't change it. So all we've got to do is we've got to gather ourselves, we've got to go back at it, and try to win a game.
This group has done a terrific job all year of just staying in the moment and not dwelling on the past, not getting ahead of itself, and just trying to focus on that one game in hand, and that's what we're going to have to do.

Q. Mike, assess Marc-Andre Fleury's night, and are you secure with him going into the next game?
COACH SULLIVAN: I'm not going to assess his game right after the game. It's obviously a disheartening game we just lost. I'd rather digest it a little bit before I jump to any conclusions .

Q. You had a 2-0 lead, a 3-2 lead. I wonder is there anything in particular you thought you didn't do well when you had the lead?
COACH SULLIVAN: Well, when we had the 2-0 lead, I thought -- you know, we had a chance on that one power play to get that third goal. They score right after it. So I thought we could have tried to just simplify the game and to try to get the momentum back, but I think they got a boost.
But for the most part, I thought for most of the night we were a pretty good hockey team. We were playing the game the right way. I thought we had a lot of offensive zone time. We generated a fair amount of scoring chances. We controlled the shot clock. We did a lot of the things going into this game that we set out to do. We've just got to find a way to find the back of the net a little bit more.

Q. Mike, are your guys getting to the net enough? You've had success when you've gotten there, but are your guys getting to the net enough?
COACH SULLIVAN: Well, we're trying for sure. I thought we were trying to get to the net. I thought we did a good job using points. They collapsed coverage pretty well when you had the puck underneath the hashmarks. I thought we used the points well. I thought we had opportunities, we got pucks to the net. But certainly, I know we're trying to get there.
So for me, I know our guys are trying to play the game the right way, and that's what we're asking our guys to do. We've got to be more determined. We've got to have a heightened intensity, and we've got to find a way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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