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May 15, 2018

Barry Trotz

Washington, D.C.: Game Three

Q. Backstrom?
BARRY TROTZ: Day-to-day.

Q. Can you roll him out for tonight?
BARRY TROTZ: I'm not answering that question.

Q. Is he making progress?
BARRY TROTZ: Yes, absolutely.

Q. What are your hopes, I guess, for the fans, anticipation of finally being home --
BARRY TROTZ: Cheer loud, help us out, positive energy. We're going to do our best tonight, absolutely. That's what we've been trying to do right through the Playoffs. So give us your good vibe.

Q. Why has your first line been so good against the Lightning?
BARRY TROTZ: I think they're dialed in. They're big. They're strong. They've got skill level. They can play anyway you want, and they're dialed in.

Q. Specifically Game 2 they hardly won any draws, they were starting out the puck. Most of the time they still wind up out-scoring whoever they're playing against. What goes into that?
BARRY TROTZ: Well, I think when you're dialed in, you don't mind going to get the puck. You can separate people. You know, I think they were draw ready, even though they weren't winning draws, they were able to break up some stuff, and I thought -- when you're hounding the puck, putting pressure on it in tight spaces and your numbers are putting them in tough areas, you're getting the puck back a lot quicker. I thought they were just checking well. When they didn't have the puck, they checked well to get it back.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
BARRY TROTZ: I expect their best. I haven't expected anything less than that. They're a good hockey team. They have lots of ability. They have lots of veteran leadership. They're coached well. I just know that they're going to bring their best effort, just as we have to bring our best effort. Anything less than that from us, then it could go the other way.

Q. Is there anything you can take away from knowing how Lightning played against you when you guys were down 0-2?
BARRY TROTZ: Yeah, absolutely. You know, they're focused in on this game, and for us, if we play our best game, we have just a great opportunity to take real control of the series. We can't -- you only get so many opportunities, and it's a race to four, so we can get to four real quickly, we want to do that.

Q. What would you say has been the key to your success five-on-five?
BARRY TROTZ: Well, I just think team commitment, and we're all connected in all three zones in terms of what our disciplines are, our protocols, and the commitment and work ethic you need to perform those. I think the five-on-five play, you're going to see there's a lot of five guys in the picture. Any time you look on the screen, there's five guys, and that just means you're playing as a group of five, you're playing correct, and you're playing with real good structure and responsibility.

Q. Can you put your finger on why you guys have been so good in the first period? I think you've scored first --
BARRY TROTZ: I think we've been starting at the right time. I don't think there's much difference in the first versus the second and third. I think we've been just playing very consistent, three periods. I can't answer that. I feel we've played the same way, which is why we've had some success, because we have played the same way, and it's carried all three periods.

Q. You guys had a lot of success without man breaks, converting them against Pittsburgh. Are you surprised that you had so many opportunities and conversions against Tampa?
BARRY TROTZ: Not really. They play aggressively. Obviously the pre-scout, we had that dialed in. Our staff did a really good job of dialing it in. Our video coaches did a really good job of identifying stuff. I think we've been executing what we need to execute against Pitt and even Columbus. We have to execute a little differently in certain areas, but I think we've made the necessary adjustments to this point.

Q. Now that it's 2-0, do you as a coaching staff start anticipating what changes are going to come from their side?
BARRY TROTZ: Yeah, we've asked that question, what do you think they will do, and I'm not in their room. I don't have any microphones or cameras or anything like that. It's a little bit of a guess, anticipation of what they might do, but we don't know. They'll drop the puck and we'll try to figure it out as it goes along. Yeah, we've asked that question, and we've tried to formulate what they might do. We might be totally wrong. But we're hoping to try to stay -- you always try to stay ahead of the curve a little bit, move, countermove, that type of thing.

Q. Obviously the execution and adherence to the game plan are what you need from your players. Is there value in them treating this as a Game 1 and just ignoring the 2-0 lead they have now?
BARRY TROTZ: Well, they're going to focus on tonight. I think you're sort of dead on. We just have to say, hey, restart. Let's go from here. They have to go after tonight just as we have to go after tonight. You know, we haven't looked past the game in front of us, and that's been key for us. I'm sure they're doing the same thing.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
BARRY TROTZ: Well, I think we can -- there's still, yeah, there's still some areas that we can improve. I think I'm sort of keeping them to myself a little bit, but we can be a little bit better -- there's some things we saw offensively that we can do a little bit better, and there's a couple things defensively that we can take care of. I don't want to say we can do a little bit better, but we can take care of and just recognize a little quicker.

Q. Did your PK do a better after those first two --
BARRY TROTZ: Yeah, I think there's a couple areas of -- sometimes there's things in what they do and how they're successful. Power plays, their power play and ours and Pittsburgh, they all have very similar personnel, if you will, with high skill and high ability to execute. There's certain things in our PK that did very long for a strong stretch. Last couple we could do a little bit better on a couple of them. I think they had three power play goals in this series, and one of them was -- we did everything right and they just got the bounce, just ended up on their stick real quick. The other two I think we had an ability to prevent. We'll make those slight adjustments that will allow us to hopefully have some success. They're going to probably try to add something to their arsenal tonight. We've just got to adjust, and just as you asked me a question five-on-five or what they're going to do, we're anticipating some things that they might do, as well, on the power play versus our PK.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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