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May 23, 2017

Craig Anderson

Bobby Ryan

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Postgame

Ottawa-2, Pittsburgh-1

Q. Craig, when did you put aside what happened last game and start to focus on this one? Could you envision something like this for yourself after the last game?
CRAIG ANDERSON: The moment I got yanked in that game, it's gone. You can't change what happened in the past. So from that moment on, you have to look forward and get ready for the next one. So as soon as that happens and you leave the rink, you put it behind you.

You know, as far as tonight, you just try to stay in the moment as best you can and focus on the baby steps. One shot at a time, and the big picture takes care of itself when you worry about the details.

Q. Craig, did you always have that ability to put it right behind you right away, or how long did it take you to grow into that?
CRAIG ANDERSON: I think it's a process. It's ongoing. There's always thoughts that creep in your head. I think my biggest strides as -- in pro hockey, as far as mentally, was probably after my first year pro. It was one of those things where you find -- I found a sports psychologist that I liked and worked with him when I was a young player and used those tools. You know, read a couple books here and there along the way.

It's a tough thing to do, but having nights like tonight just emphasizes things you've read or things you've been taught.

Q. Two questions for Bobby. First of all, you scored a goal on the power play. It must have been such a relief. Five against three. You have to score.
BOBBY RYAN: Yeah, we did. I don't want to say turning point, but a building point for our offensive side of things. Five-on-three, we had better shots than mine earlier in that five-on-three. Karl and Terry both had better shots than I did. It's amazing what not holding on to the puck will do. You just try to find a lane, try and find something.

Really a lucky goal. To see it go in, I think we -- we, in the sense, community, took a collective breath there because it was overdue.

Q. If you had to describe this guy's performance in one word, what would it be?
BOBBY RYAN: Remarkable.

Q. How weird was it for the team not to have the power-play goal this whole time in this series?
BOBBY RYAN: Really, you're going back into the New York series too with us struggling on it. You can look at the tape. You can look at the meetings and draw everything up. When you look at it, you think, why aren't we successful? We're getting looks. We're doing things. We had traffic. Really, I think we only needed to clean up entering the zone better and getting established.

But when you see the first one go in, you hope it becomes a building point, right? You hope your special teams at some point can win you a game. Tonight Andy won us the game, but we found a way to contribute on that power play, and it's huge. It's the difference.

Q. Craig, talking about the power play, but the penalty kill too had been struggling. What was the difference maybe that you saw tonight when you guys had to kill some of those key Penguins power plays?
CRAIG ANDERSON: As far as tonight versus the other game where we gave up three was -- when the puck was on our stick, we got clears, had some big blocks. I thought we tied up sticks better in front tonight than we did in the last game.

Q. Bobby, Mike's been a shooter his whole life, but when you see him wind up there, have you seen him hit it that hard before?
BOBBY RYAN: That's got to be up there with one of them. We're lucky we get to -- I'm lucky I get to watch that shot all the time. He's not. He's got to see it coming in at him every day at practice. He's one of the best shooters I've ever seen. So when he's got time and space and walking into that with no one in front of him, you know it's going to be hard. Not only hard, he hits his mark with that kind of pace. It's got to be hard for any goalie to stop. I don't want to speak for Murray, but that's a tough save. That's a lot to ask.

Q. Bobby, a few of your teammates mentioned the meeting yesterday that you had as a positive for getting your mind right today. How did you come out of that feeling, and how did it help?
BOBBY RYAN: I think the biggest message for us was, if somebody told us back in training camp in September that we'd have an opportunity to win Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals at home in front of our fans, we would have taken it. So let's not dwell. Let's not kick ourselves and put our heads down. Let's embrace this opportunity to extend this for two more days together and go from there.

I think the biggest other thing was let's not look at it, we have to win a game. We have to be -- we have to be there after the first, but more importantly, we have to be there in the first ten minutes, and we were tonight.

Q. You guys, what was the sense on the bench after the Penguins took that lead and just the mindset maybe going into that?
BOBBY RYAN: I thought it was good. Obviously, you have a second where you're looking around, but outside of that, getting to the bench, I thought we were upbeat. We were positive. I think in Game 5 we got away from that as a unit, pulling on the same rope, being positive. And we took a turn for the worst.

Tonight we didn't. Tonight everybody kind of had the same message that there was going to be one shot that was going to get us back in it. Whether there was a power play or not, we were going to be back in it, and we hung around.

Q. Bobby, you were talking about taking advantage of the opportunity tonight, but what does this next one feel like now?
BOBBY RYAN: Pretty incredible. Pretty proud that we got the job done tonight, for one. We'll enjoy it for a half hour here, and then turn our attention right down to going to Pittsburgh tomorrow.

We bought ourselves two more days together, and this team just wants to be around each other. It's exciting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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