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May 18, 2017

Bobby Ryan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Practice Day

Q. What are you expecting from Pittsburgh tomorrow night?
BOBBY RYAN: I think we can expect a pretty good push. After Game 1, they regrouped and came back and gave us all we could handle in Game 2. I think it will be much like that. It won't be a repeat of this game by any means.

Q. Does anything change for you guys if it's Murray over Fleury?
BOBBY RYAN: No. You look at both of them, they both carried the load for the Stanley Cup. They've got two quality goaltenders, and I guess maybe a decision to make. But not for us, no, we'll continue to prepare the same way.

Q. Did your success against Fleury last night surprise you at all?
BOBBY RYAN: No. I think we knew we were capable of scoring. We had a third period where we took no shots down there in Game 2, and we wanted to come out and get the puck in on him, make him uncomfortable. We were able to do that. We got bodies to the net.

Q. Ottawa has a reputation of being like not a (inaudible). Did they get a bad rap? You listened to it last night, and it was pretty loud.
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, it was incredible last night. I think the fans came out and gave us a good kick of energy last night. I think it certainly gets a bad rap because anywhere you go in the city, you can tell how passionate people are about what we're doing right now.

Q. But you guys kind of parallel. I mean, you get the reputation of being the boring team.
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, that's okay. We fly under the radar, and that's okay with us.

Q. Is that a good way to be in a playoff, flying low?
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, I think all season and then in the playoffs, we've been the unsuspecting team that finds a way to hang around. You can call it because of the style or the way we play or whatever it is, but just a resilient group that wants to get it done in the third period most nights.

Q. At this point now, you're two wins away from the Cup final, 5-1 win over the Penguins. Do you think maybe you're no longer playing under the radar, maybe not caught the attention of people, but saying, hey, we're --
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, I don't want to say last game was a statement or anything. I think we had a good start, and they had a poor one. You certainly take that for what it's worth, and you move on because Game 4 is not going to be that. It's not going to happen again.

They're a veteran team. They're a team that's been through it. They'll recognize that, and they're going to have a push. So we'll be ready.

Q. Do you hear the noise being said --

Q. Did you hear the noise that was being said about you guys being boring?
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, I think a little bit crept through and some guys mentioned it, but not a whole lot. We're doing a pretty good job right now of keeping those outside influences and distractions out of the room.

Q. Do you see any evidence that Pittsburgh is wearing down physically? If so, how are you trying to exploit that?
BOBBY RYAN: I think you continue to get in on them and continue to make it uncomfortable for their defensemen going back. You finish every hit. That's this time of year. I think you do that anyway.

No, I think they've played a lot of hockey, going back to last year, that's for sure. But, no, I don't see them breaking down by any means. They've got a lot of horses over there.

Q. Do you take pride, you had three goals against (inaudible)? That's pretty good.
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, that's a testament to a little bit of the system, but mostly Andy. Andy is playing incredible back there. He's giving us a chance every night. I think in Game 2, we didn't reward him, and we felt like that was on us, and we came out and had a good start because of it. But he's been an absolute rock back there.

Q. Do you get sense you've screwed it for yourselves now with the 5-1 win, and people are paying attention and think you're exciting?
BOBBY RYAN: No, I think people will still continue to think we're the boring old team. We do, we clog the neutral zone. We make it hard for you to come through. It works for us, so we're sticking with it.

Q. Do you need to prepare any differently against Murray?
BOBBY RYAN: No. I think you watch a little bit of video really. Different kind of goalie, but, no, not really. It all comes down to putting pucks at the net and having guys in front of him.

Q. Do you think you've frustrated some of the top guys?
BOBBY RYAN: Maybe. Maybe a little bit. I think it's -- it can be a frustrating system to try and get through. When we're making you dump it all the time and you're not able to kind of float through the neutral zone with the puck, it probably gets wearing. But we don't notice it, I think, as much as everybody else does. We're kind of -- we're in it. We're playing it, and we're out there. But, no, I certainly don't notice it a ton.

Q. As an offensive player, what's it like (inaudible)?
BOBBY RYAN: It's tough. I think it wears on you mentally and physically. I think a lot of times we throw blankets over you and try not to give you more than five, six feet of space to make a play. They got some all world players that are going to find that five, six feet every now and again, and you have to live with that. Again, we collapse back, and we take away the second and third chances pretty good.

Q. Bobby, total team effort last night? I mean, everybody contributing. Is that a testament to Guy and his system?
BOBBY RYAN: It is. It's been a while since we've had that kind of outburst offensively for one, and a lot of guys got on the board. A lot of guys felt good about that first period and the way they played and then managed the rest of the game. Yeah, from the beginning of the lineup to the other side of it, everybody contributed in different ways, not just offensively. It was a good night for us.

Q. When you get that early goal, it's like an avalanche, isn't it? The place erupted last night.

Q. And you guys fed into it, didn't you?
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, we did. When you score early like that, you give your fans an opportunity to have an impact on the game. I thought they did. I thought they gave us energy right from the get-go. But scoring a goal 45, 46 -- whatever it is, 45 seconds in -- gave them a chance to really feel it from the crowd, and we felt it in kind because it's a trickle effect.

Q. Mindset, up 2-1 going into Game 4?
BOBBY RYAN: The same as Game 3: Worry about the first ten minutes and move on.

Q. What's the toughest defensive system you've had to play against? Have you gone against a systematic challenge?
BOBBY RYAN: I think -- thinking back now, I think going into New Jersey years ago was always tough when I first came in with the way they played. They were able to keep the outside all night, and you felt like you had the puck all night, but you wound up with two shots and a minus 1 somehow every time you went in there. So I think, looking back through my years, that was always the toughest challenge playing New Jersey.

Q. What is it, is it strategic when you try to think of ways how to crack it? Is it more mental, the way it frustrates you?
BOBBY RYAN: I think it's mental, especially during the regular season. You don't worry about it as much because you're playing them once and you're moving on. When you're dealing with them seven games in a row, you have a chance to try to crack it and do things with it.

Mentally, when you get into those games -- and I can only speak for myself going into that building -- by the third period, you're extremely frustrated because you felt weren't inside all night. You felt like you couldn't get to the net.

Q. When Dion Phaneuf starts frustrating the other team, playing the way he's been playing, what do you start seeing from the other team? Like what's the payoff for you when that happens?
BOBBY RYAN: When Dion gets going?

Q. Yeah, when Dion gets going.
BOBBY RYAN: He's got an ability to change the game with a hit. I thought he did that last night with the Phil hit. And then for the rest of the night, you saw guys going after him. He's got that ability to get under guys' skin by throwing those hits.

And then you look at him, he's always involved in the hacks and the whacks afterwards, and he thrives on that. That makes him a better player and takes away from other guys' games. So I think what you see there is Dion methodically doing what he knows he's got to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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