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May 19, 2006

Craig MacTavish

Michael Peca

Chris Pronger

Dwayne Roloson


JAMEY HORAN: Questions for coach, please.
Q. Mac, can you talk about perservering on a night when it didn't look like maybe everybody had their A game, including the Ducks, gutting it out in this one?
COACH MacTAVISH: Well, I think that they came out really strong early, had a good jump in their game in the first period. You know, we got the shorthanded goal. But they had a lot of jump. I don't know, I thought they played well early in particular, then had a real good third period as well.
We played maybe our best second period of the playoffs. It's been a troublesome period for us throughout the playoffs. But there was a stretch there where for six or seven minutes before we started taking some penalties. And they did as well in the latter part of the second period, there was a stretch there where we really started to take the game to them, had a number of point-blank shots.
So it turned the complexion of the game around a little bit from a territorial perspective in the second period. In the third, we were sitting on the lead. You know, we've played a lot through the first two series in our own end. We did a pretty good job tonight defending in spite of the fact they had 13 or 14 shots.
Q. Not that you like to see Hemsky take a hit like that, but the way he responded, That has to be a positive thing.
COACH MacTAVISH: Yeah, he's a tough kid. A lot of people don't give him credit. He's a tough kid. He takes a lot of banging. He's looking for his pound of flesh after that, too. He had a good hit on the right side later on in the period.
He can take the pounding. That was a pretty violent hit that he took. But, you know, didn't dissuade him too much. Came out and got the winning goal.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Dwayne Roloson, as well. The big kid for them came in playing well for them.
COACH MacTAVISH: He makes the saves. When we do break down, he's behind us to make the saves. It's a pretty good combination. He's a big part of why we're having success playing in our own end, the few point-blank shots we did give him, he was up to the task and played another terrific hockey game for us. Made the play on the shorthanded goal to Michael, great alley-oop up the middle for him.
We expect that now night in and night out, that terrific goaltending.
Q. Up where we were sitting, Craig, that didn't feel like a playoff game atmosphere.
COACH MacTAVISH: I think a lot of it was the fact that, you know, the game really went in territorial bunches. For stretches we played a long time in our own zone, so there wasn't that break-neck down and back, up and down type of hockey. I'm pretty sure that both coaches prefer that to a certain degree.
But, I mean, I guess I disagree to a certain degree. I saw Anaheim with a lot of speed tonight, attacking us with a lot of speed. I thought we did a pretty good job deflecting it, slowing it down.
But I think it was more of a territorial game than a down and back game.
Q. Were you surprised that Vishnevski kind of took that run, I think it was at Raffi, when you already have the advantage, and ultimately you were able to convert on that.
COACH MacTAVISH: Well, I mean, you look at it on the video in preparation for the series on their penalty killing, you know that their mentality is one of aggressiveness. You know, but you never really know to what extent till you're actually in the game. They're an exceptionally aggressive team to have the defense standing up in the neutral zone there on Raffi, pretty aggressive play. That's why they've had so much success killing penalties.
It was just one of those plays. I guess you have to be responsible for your stick, his stick did come up and clip Raffi. That's a penalty.
Q. How often do you Roloson and Peca work on that? Is that just something where they have a chemistry or is that just good anticipation by Peca?
COACH MacTAVISH: I think that's the first time. I haven't seen them backhand one up the middle . That kind of gives the coaches a little heart failure when that happens.
He's done it before, where he's cricketed it up, thrown and batted it up. He did that late in the Detroit Game one time. I think that's the first time he's really sprung anybody.
But Peca, he's so good at reading those opportunities. I think he's had -- he had either two or three breakaways in Game 6 against San Jose, had another one tonight. He's pretty good at anticipating that play.
Q. Just on being up 1-0, that's kind of unchartered territory for you.
COACH MacTAVISH: Yeah, we haven't won a Game 1 yet in the playoffs. So obviously we've had success losing them. Much prefer the opportunity that we have with the win tonight. You know, it's all about, again, creating opportunity for yourselves. We have a pretty significant opportunity coming back here on Sunday to win both these games and ultimately the deciding factor is which team's able to take advantage of those opportunities.
You know, it's an opportunity I guess for Anaheim to get back into it this early, if you can say that. It's a really good opportunity for us to grab two games.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you, coach.
Questions for the players.
Q. Dwayne, for a while you were tied with Todd Harvey in playoff scoring, till he pegged the empty netter. Can you go through that play a little bit.
DWYANE ROLOSON: Yeah, it's something that I used to do in college all the time, you know. I was fortunate enough that Ryan knows about it a little bit. I played with Peca in Buffalo, who -- unfortunately I didn't play much, but he knew I was looking to do that and he got a jump on some of their guys.
Q. How many times did it work in college, if ever?
DWYANE ROLOSON: Honestly, it worked about 50 times. But we had a guy by the name of Eric Brown who couldn't score on a breakaway, so... (Laughter).
Q. What do you see when you read that situation that gives you --
MICHAEL PECA: That's a secret.
DWYANE ROLOSON: I don't see anyone. That's why it works.
Q. Dwayne, last time you were in here in a playoff series with Minnesota against the Ducks, Minnesota shut out. You played Game 3. As I recall, you didn't finish the game. Does that at all come through your mind? Is that just so far in the past that you don't even remember it?
DWYANE ROLOSON: I don't even remember it, to be honest with you. So whatever.
Q. Besides the game winner in the playoffs, is there no better goal to score than a shorthanded marker like that?
MICHAEL PECA: I think it's irrelevant that it's shorthanded. I think it's the timing of the goal. Obviously when you're on the road, Game 1, you want to get the first goal of the game. Our record has been pretty good in the playoffs when we score the first goal. That was the important thing. It didn't matter at what point in the game it came.
Q. Chris, how are you and your teammates feeling? Is the grind getting to you at all or do you still feel fairly fresh given that you had one day's rest after the last series?
CHRIS PRONGER: I think you get in a rhythm. We've been playing every other day for the most part of that series. Had two days off before Game 6 against San Jose. Played back to back in Games 1 and 2.
You know, I don't know about the other guys, but I feel pretty good. I think with having the depth that we have on our team, being able to roll three and four lines for a lot of the games, you know, guys feel pretty fresh, have a lot of legs.
Obviously, we've worked hard to get to this point in the season. If guys are tired, they're not telling me.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you, gentlemen.

End of FastScripts...

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