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June 9, 2016

Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Game Five

San Jose – 4
Pittsburgh ‑ 2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Mike, other than not scoring any goals, could you have done much more in the second period, particularly getting guys and pucks to the net?
COACH SULLIVAN: No, I thought we did all of the above. I thought we had traffic at the net. We had pucks to the net. There were people there. We had rebound opportunities. We couldn't seem to find that third goal.
But I give our players a lot of credit. We stayed with it throughout the course of the game. It was just one of those nights we couldn't find that goal.

Q. Did you notice anything different about your goaltender tonight than you have in previous games, specifically in the first period?
COACH SULLIVAN: No. I thought our team as a whole was a little bit unsettled at the first part of the game, but we settled in fast.
Obviously we didn't have the start that we would have liked. But I really liked the fact that we battled back as quick as we did, making it a 2‑2 game right away. The reality is there's a lot of hockey left at that point to be played.
I thought Matt settled in as the game went on, just like our team.

Q. This day had a lot of excitement and emotion for your guys. How do you feel they handled that?
COACH SULLIVAN: I thought they handled it fine. When you look at how the game was played, there's a lot of things to like about how we played. I loved our energy. I thought we were on the puck. I thought we were fast. I thought we controlled territory. I thought we controlled the scoring chances, the shot clock.
There are a lot of things that I think we can build on. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. These are two really good teams playing against one another. The elimination game is always the most difficult. We knew it going in. We knew we were going to have to bring our best.
I thought we did a lot of really good things out there.

Q. Mike, did you have any thoughts about pulling Matt after the third goal?

Q. When they're able to sort of get beneath the net, below the net, what do you need to do better to prevent them from getting to that area?
COACH SULLIVAN: When you say 'below the net,' you mean below the goal line?

Q. Yes.
COACH SULLIVAN: That's how they generate their offense. They have big, strong bodies. I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job. It's not like we gave up a lot of scoring chances.
They're a very good team. They have good players. I think that's one of their strengths, that's where they have the opportunity to use their size and their skill level.
I thought for most of this game and most of this series, for that matter, I think our guys have done a really good job as far as making it difficult to make any sort of clean plays coming out from below the goal line.

Q. Especially early on in the game, was there anything that stood out to you about what the San Jose forwards did, or Burns jumping up?
COACH SULLIVAN: No, Burns is in the rush all the time. That's part of what he brings to their team. He's a very good player. He has the ability to generate offense from the blueline.
I just think that's part of their identity. That's part of his identity as a player. We certainly have to be aware of him when he's on the ice.
Like I said, I thought as a group, for the most part, there's a lot of this game that we really liked.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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