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May 19, 2017

Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Pregame

Q. Mike, who's your starting goalie tonight?
MIKE SULLIVAN: Matt Murray is going to play goal.

Q. Why the change there?
MIKE SULLIVAN: I'm not going to elaborate on the coaches' decision. That's the decision we made. We made it for Game 4. We'll see how it goes.

Q. How difficult of a decision was it to make?
MIKE SULLIVAN: It's very difficult. That's been a hard decision for this coaching staff all year long. And I said yesterday, it's a good difficult decision to have because we have two guys that are as capable as they are, and both of these guys have helped this team win all year long, and they're both high quality people and they're high quality goaltenders.

We never take these decisions lightly. They're extremely difficult decisions. And this is the choice that we made for Game 4.

Q. What was the reaction of Marc-Andre Fleury?
MIKE SULLIVAN: Marc was a professional like he always is. Both of these guys handle the decisions we make extremely -- you know, extremely professional. As we always say to them, these guys are both competitors. They both want to be in the net. We don't always expect them to agree with our decisions. Our hope is that they respect our decision, and both of them have always been professional.

But they're competitors. I understand. They want to be in the net. That's what makes them as good as they are. So as I said, these decisions are very difficult. That's the choice we made.

Q. Do you think it will help Matt that he got in that actual last game?
MIKE SULLIVAN: I'm sure it will. I'm sure it will. I thought he was really solid in there. You know, he's had a lot of practice time here in the last couple of weeks. As I said, we feel like we have two guys that are capable of helping this team win.

Q. Of your other injured guys, is anybody else game time at least?
MIKE SULLIVAN: The other guys -- Rusty, Schultz, and Hornqvist -- will not play. They're still day to day. They skated this morning. But they are day to day.

Q. So Matt Murray hasn't played a lot in this series. Will you ask the players to be more careful defensively to kind of protect him?
MIKE SULLIVAN: No, we're going to play the same way regardless of who's in goal. We're not going to change the way we play. I think our team has a real solid understanding of the type of game that we have to play in order to be successful, and we've got to go out there and try to play that game.

Q. Mike, your goal scoring has been top heavy in terms of who's doing it. Is there anything you can do as a team to get that scoring more involved?
MIKE SULLIVAN: Well, obviously. You'd like to get some contributions throughout your lineup. I think that makes teams more difficult to play against, and it certainly increases your chances of winning games when you get production throughout your lineup.

All we can control is just the process, you know, trying to play the game the right way, trying to take what the game gives you. We've got to shoot the puck when we have opportunities. We've got to go to the net when we have opportunities to go to the net. We've got to compete for rebounds. I think, if we do that, we'll find ways to score goals.

Certainly, when you do get production throughout your lineup, as opposed to just a handful, it makes your team that much more difficult to play against.

Q. Mike, when you informed Marc of the decision, did you give him any sort of explanation as to why you made the decision?
MIKE SULLIVAN: Of course I did. Of course I did.

Q. Will you share that with us?

Q. Did you feel like this goalie decision gives a jolt to your team? Do you feel like your team needs a jolt?
MIKE SULLIVAN: I think our team needs to go out and play hard. We've got to go out and compete. It's a seven-game series. It's the first team to win four games. So we've had some really good hockey during this series, and we've had some lapses where we haven't played as well. So we've got to continue to push to get better. We've got to continue to push one another to compete and be ready to play.

I think, as I've said all along, one of the strengths of this group, we believe, is the resilience and our ability to respond to the adversities that come our way. We've had a fair amount of them over the course of this season and throughout the course of the playoffs.

We obviously were disappointed in Game 3 and the result and some of the game that we played. I don't think we really gave ourselves a chance because of a poor start. So we're going to try to have a good start. We're going to be ready to compete, and we'll see where it goes.

Q. Is Kuhnhackl out also?

Q. Might go with seven "D" again?
MIKE SULLIVAN: That will be a game-time decision.

Q. The scoring chances you mentioned that you think will lead to goals, are they grade A varieties, or you feel there's still other chances out there?
MIKE SULLIVAN: We've had a fair amount of grade As, but we still think there's chances out there we can continue to increase, not only the quality of the chance but the quantity as well. We've had moments where we're really good, then we've had others where we've got away from it a little bit. We've just got to bring more of the consistent approach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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