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May 15, 2017

Marc Methot

Erik Karlsson

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Pregame

Q. Just wondering, I asked this of the other guys, Kyle and Mark. What would you do with your day of rest? Guy's been giving you guys the day off. Just an idea of what you'd be doing in Pittsburgh on your day off and if anyone comes up to you on the street and notices you, anything like that?
MARC METHOT: I think everyone's on different programs in terms of preparation this time of year. Some guys need treatments. Some guys go for walks and spend time in the gym at the hotel and warm up there. Everyone's kind of got their own method at this point.

For me, I just like to go for a walk in the morning around the city, and then I get back and stretch and try to rest up and take advantage of that time off.

ERIK KARLSSON: I played Oakmont, golf. That's what I did. Not great. It was a little windy.

MARC METHOT: You mean yesterday you played Oakmont?

ERIK KARLSSON: Yeah. Other than that, you don't do much. You just sit around. I usually don't leave the hotel too much on the road. And at home, every day I like to do errands and help out the way that you can in your family.

Q. (No microphone)?
ERIK KARLSSON: Lots. Only positive people, though. So it's all good.

Q. Erik, you guys closed out Round 1 in Boston, you closed out Round 2 at MSG, and then you win here. Is there anything about this group that's allowed you to be unflappable and have success on the road?
ERIK KARLSSON: No, I think we've been a good road team all year. Whether we're at home or on the road, this has given us success in our rank and various ranks around the league. So, again, we take it game by game.

The Game 6 against Boston and Rangers, we treat that the same way that we treat any of the games that we play in this playoff.

Q. You guys are always saying sometimes you've got to be aware of which guys are on the ice and when they're on the ice. These guys are probably three stars of three different lines. Are there different strategies for Crosby, Malkin, Kessel?
MARC METHOT: I mean, I think at this time of the year. As far as strategies go, you just have to be on point offensively. You got to make sure you're not selling the farm and everyone is attacking the offensive zone. You've got guys back and covering for each other. I think they're an extremely offensive and dangerous team with some of high caliber players, so we have to be on top of it.

I think awareness, there isn't a different plan between lines. We treat every line the same. But you've got to be aware when their top guys is out there.

Q. Marc, would you say it's tougher to step out on and get those licks in the offensive zone that you're so good at?
MARC METHOT: Yeah, you try to play physical. There's no secret to what we do at this point. I think everyone is aware of our system and what we're doing out there. Good players have their heads up. That's just the way the game's played now, and you've got to be aware not to step up when the guy is looking right at you 30 yards away. That's the way it goes.

Q. Marc, I know it's kind of hard to talk about him when he's sitting right next to you, but what have you seen during this playoff run that's impressed you the most on the ice?
MARC METHOT: I mean, it's tough because there's not a lot that surprises us anymore as players and as teammates. Just the clutch plays that he's made at the right time, the opportunities he's had, and he just seems to come through for us when we need him most. I've said everything that's had to be said about Erik, and he's our lifeline on the team.

If we plan on making it anywhere, I think moving forward, we need him, and we certainly need our goaltending too.

Q. This can be for either of your guys. In Bobby Ryan's player tribute article, he mentioned the slogan "why not us". I don't know if you use that often, but if so, what does that mean to this group?
MARC METHOT: I haven't read it. I can't really comment on it because I don't know what's in there and what's not. I can't really elaborate on it. Sorry.

ERIK KARLSSON: I haven't read anything either. I'm assuming -- you said why not us. I'm assuming -- yeah, that's something that we believe, I guess, at this point. You made it to the third round. I mean, it's anyone -- there's only four teams left. I don't see why we can't. Again, we have a huge challenge with Pittsburgh. We're not looking past that.

Q. Marc, quickly, you talked about not selling the farm, not stepping up on guys. In the Rangers series, there's a lot more odd-man rushes than there were in Game 1. Have you dialed it back defensively? Are you staying more back than you were?
MARC METHOT: Defensively, as far as the defensemen go, our role hasn't really changed. I think we've improved our coverage with regards to the high F-3 and F-2 and steering guys one way or the other. I think that's been a big improvement.

Again, they had some real fast players on New York that were able to kind of seam it up the middle and cut through on fast breaks.

That's not to say Pitt doesn't have those guys either. We know they have elite speed as well. I think we've cleaned it up a little bit. Our system hasn't changed.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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