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May 31, 2016

Peter DeBoer

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Practice Day

Q. Peter, four years ago you lost Game1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Can you compare the two? Is there any lesson you can take having done it four years ago and apply it to today?
COACH DeBOER: There's always lessons you can take. I think two totally different circumstances. I actually thought Game1, thinking back to that New Jersey final with L.A., we were the home team. I thought we played an excellent game. Ended up losing in overtime 2‑1. I thought Quick was probably the difference in that game.
We're on the road this time. The home team played a better game than us. I think we didn't find a way to get rewarded. The good news was we still had a chance right until the last five minutes to win that game. I think we'll be better tomorrow.

Q. Your team's faceoff percentage for the playoffs is 47%. Is that a number you put any weight into?
COACH DeBOER: I think when you look at our regular‑season faceoff percentage, we're a pretty good team. Part of it is opponents. You play the L.A. Kings, Nashville, St.Louis, you're playing very good faceoff teams. I think that plays a part of it.
But it's an area that is an issue for us. You want to start with the puck as much as possible. The other team wants it, too.

Q. How do you think the Tierney line did last night?
COACH DeBOER: I thought they were like the rest of our team: off a little.

Q. You coached against Hagelin in the east. How many players can catch him in a breakaway like Burns did? Talk about his evolution as a defensive player. Has he surprised you how well he plays defensively?
COACH DeBOER: I think he's excellent defensively. The answer to that is not many can catch him. He might have got Hagelin at the end of a shift, because I'm not even sure flat out if he could. It shows you what an athlete Burnsy is and the speed he's got.
Defensively, he's been excellent all year. I had this guy at the World Championships last year, best defenseman of the tournament both ends of the ice. I've seen that all year from him. There's been no issue defensively.
The only people that really talk about it are you guys. In our room and within our group, he's been outstanding both ends.

Q. Throughout the season, the Penguins have had a lot of success chipping out of their own zone and winning races. What adjustments do you make to defend against that?
COACH DeBOER: It's no different than most of the teams in the league. There's nothing there we haven't seen before. The game is on us. It's on us to execute better. It's on us to impose our game on them for longer stretches.
We did it for the second period and for spurts of the third. But, you know, they did it for longer than we did and they won. It's as simple as that. It's not a complicated game.

Q. Were you happy with the number of shots you got on net last night? More specifically, the guys who got the shots, do you look at that? Are there certain guys on your team you want to see get more chances than they did last night?
COACH DeBOER: Two parts. No, and everybody. I want everybody to get more shots.
No, we weren't happy with the number of shots. We weren't happy with the quality of shots. We weren't happy with the guys who didn't get enough shots.
We didn't do enough to win the game. We've got to fix that.

Q. We spoke to Justin Braun after the game last night. A long, emotional day for him. How did you assist him throughout the course of the game, what you observed, maybe your thoughts on how difficult it really was for him.
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, well, it's a tough situation. To Justin's credit, he was business as usual. He's made some arrangements for after Game2 to pay his respects and do what he has to do on that end.
There's not much you can do. You feel for him. He went out there, he battled for us under tough circumstances. I think we all appreciate it.

Q. Pete, are you thinking about any lineup changes for tomorrow? How much of an asset would Nieto be against a fast Penguins team?
COACH DeBOER: Anytime you have a guy like Nieto available, which he just recently got available to us, he's always a consideration. We'll sleep on that and come up with some decisions tomorrow morning.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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