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June 4, 2016

Mike Sullivan

San Jose, California: Game Three

San Jose – 3
Pittsburgh ‑ 2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Mike, I know you only had one chance on the power play. What's not clicking there? 0‑6 for the series.
COACH SULLIVAN: It's tough. There haven't been a ton of power plays. It's not easy to get into any sort of rhythm.
I don't think our entries have been as clean in this series as we've been. In the prior series, our entries have been really successful, high percentage of entry possessions. I don't think they've been quite as clean.
We've had a few near misses. So if we score on one of them, when you only have a few, your percentage changes pretty quick.
So I don't think it's anything that we need to overthink. I just think we've got to execute a little bit better.

Q. How would you assess Matt Murray's performance tonight?
COACH SULLIVAN: I thought Matt was solid. He made some big saves for us. He gave us a chance to win tonight.

Q. Mike, you are blocking a lot of shots in this series. Is that a concerted effort for these guys against this particular team? Is it part of the game plan against this particular team? It's more than you've done in previous series and the regular season.
COACH SULLIVAN: Well, it certainly is a big part of their offense, their cycle game. They use the points a lot, then they look for those wrist shots, those half‑slappers, and they're looking for deflections. They use their size. That's a big part of how they generate offense.
Part of the way to defend against it is to deny the opportunity of the puck to get to those areas. So when they use the points, we have to get in the lanes. I think our guys are doing a pretty good job of that for the most part.

Q. The chip plays you use quite a bit with your speed, looks like they were sitting back, intercepting those. Did they do a better job in that regard?
COACH SULLIVAN: No, I don't think so. We tried to make some space plays to get our speed going. There were times when we had momentum. There were times when they had momentum.
I liked a lot of things we did in the game tonight. We didn't get the result, but we played hard. We had some great opportunities to score. We had stretches of momentum.
It's a good team we're playing. It was a fairly even game.

Q. When you start playing this game, see the condition the ice is in, do you have to change anything during the game strategically to compensate for that?
COACH SULLIVAN: Well, we talked with our team about simplifying the game. It's hard to make a lot of lateral plays when the puck's bouncing.
As the game wore on, we talked to them about just simplifying the game, playing forward, putting pucks at the net, not looking for the extra pass. I think anytime when you play this late in the year, I think a lot of times the ice breaks down, no matter where you are.
Just simplifying the process, playing straight ahead, not looking for that extra pass. A lot of times when you do, the puck bounces, it bobbles. Sometimes you can feed the opponent's transition game.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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