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May 12, 2017

Erik Karlsson

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Practice Day

Q. (No Microphone.)
ERIK KARLSSON: Over the course of the year we're obviously a little bit better than we were in the standings and again, they won it last year and they got a lot more experience. But again, we are here for the same reason they are. They had a good playoff so far and so have we and again we're going to keep trying improving and doing the things that we know that we can do really well and hopefully we can execute that. And if we do that, it's going to give us a fair chance.

Q. When you have that mentality, does it do anything for your mindset? Does it change anything? Do you feel that at all? Is it easier to play, is it comforting?
ERIK KARLSSON: No, I don't think so. I personally don't think that it changes anything. But again, if you look at the statistics and everything like that, even over the past 10 years, you know they're the better team, they have been the better team, they have proven to be the better team, and again, we're going to play against a really good team, but again, we know what we can do in our room and we know what we're capable of and we're going to try and accomplish that and at the end of the series if we can do that, I think we're going to put ourself in a good spot to have a good chance.

Q. What gives you belief that over the next week or two you can be the better team?
ERIK KARLSSON: No, again, if we want to have a chance here, we got to be able to play up to our potential. We got to be able to elevate our game when we need it the most and we got to be able to execute at the right time. And that's the hard part in the playoffs when you're playing against equally good teams and good players and they're going to try and do the same. So, again, we haven't played a game yet and we're excited to play here tomorrow and hopefully we can play the way that we want to play and put ourselves in a position to win that game.

Q. How difficult was it for you guys to adapt to the style of play that Guy brought to the game?
ERIK KARLSSON: No, I mean, obviously, we're standing here right now and we're happy about that. I think that the team has done a great job over the course of the year to develop and keep improving and getting better and better and again, we know what we have to do to be successful, now it's just a matter of doing it.

Q. You guys don't have as much playoff experience as them, but you are one of the older teams in the league, guys who have been around. How big has that been in this run for you guys?
ERIK KARLSSON: We have a good mix of people I think in our room. We have guys that's been around for a long time, seen a lot and done a lot, and we have a lot of younger people who are starting to take the step to becoming established players and we have the group of young players that are already established. So, I think that the mix, the mix in the room right now is good for that part and again, we know what's expected and what we have to do if we want to be successful playing against Pittsburgh and we're going to try to do it.

Q. Did you manage to get some rest?
ERIK KARLSSON: Yeah, it's been a nice few days back in Ottawa and so again we'll take anything we can and we're equally excited to go back to work tomorrow.

Q. The game plan for your team centers around what you are able to do like 25 or 30 minutes and it's what you can do. How does, what is that like for you and how does the pressure go up on you as you continue to advance in these Playoffs? Is it different now than it was against the Rangers?
ERIK KARLSSON: No, absolutely not. I do what I can out there. I do my part. I do the best that I can up to my ability. And again, everybody's going to do the same thing and that's what you're going to need. Whether you're a guy who plays 10 minutes or 25, you still need that guy that plays 10 to do his part and do it well. So again it's going to be up to everybody to try and elevate their game just a little bit more in order to have a chance here in the next round and again, I'm just one of those people who try to do my part as well as I possibly can and then you hope that everybody else does.

Q. A lot of the game predicates on your part. That's not the case for everybody else on other teams.
ERIK KARLSSON: Yeah, again, I'm here for a reason, I do things that I do and I get paid to do what I do and everybody else is the same way. So I don't think that I could do anything without the other guys on the team. Again, I think that that's probably the biggest part again I think that we have had guys stepping up at the right time, at the right moments, especially in these Playoffs. Whether it's been me or someone else, we're going to continue to need that and we're striving for that part and again, I do me and everybody does themselves. If everybody does that, we're having a really good team.

Q. When you played the Penguins in the Playoffs in 2010, was that your rookie year?
ERIK KARLSSON: Yeah, I think it was. That was long time ago.

Q. We saw some of the same you back then, that how you could, that you would be this type of player. How much different are you as a player, how much different are the Senators as a team? I know we're going back seven years.
ERIK KARLSSON: Seven years of experience, I think that everybody keeps developing differently and it's a different pace. And again, I think that experience has a big part of your development and how good you become as a player. And again, I think that the group of guys that we have right now has been in various spots in their careers and hopefully again this can be a new chapter where we can gain some experience and at the same time use some that we have.

Q. Did you get better this year do you think?
ERIK KARLSSON: Yeah, I think so. I think that that's one of my goals every year is trying to develop as an individual and as a player. I think that this year we have taken good strides forward, not only me but the whole organization and everybody on our team and I think that that has helped me turn into a better player than I was before. So I'm excited about the opportunity that we have right now.

Q. What is it like having to defend Crosby and all those guys?
ERIK KARLSSON: It's fun. It's always fun to play against the best players in the game, guys that can create a lot of things from nothing. Again, you are going to have to be able to play your best hockey in order to have a chance. I'm looking forward to that challenge and I know that everybody else is as well. So, you can see it at different angles and different perspectives, but again it's something that you should want to do, play these type of games and against players like that. So we're looking forward to being able to challenge ourselves in order to play against people and players like that.

Q. Guy said, we know that nobody's picking us, said that yesterday, is that a message maybe to your benefit in the room and is the pressure sort of on the Penguins maybe more so than you guys?
ERIK KARLSSON: No, I don't think. So I think both times have equal pressure. Both teams want to advance. Both teams want to do well. It's going to be a battle out there. And again, we're both here for a good reason, we have done some good things throughout the year and throughout these Playoffs and we are just continuing to do the same thing. Whoever has the most pressure on themselves, I don't know. I think that's an individual case as well and we got to make sure that we handle this pressure that we have in the right way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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