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May 22, 2006

Matt Cullen

Eric Staal

Ryan Whitney


Q. Is this what we can expect if you're healthy, two goals a might?
RAY WHITNEY: I hope so. I don't know. In general I thought we skated better today and I guess I skated a little bit better than I did the other night.
Q. Kind of a broken record, when you score, you guys win. I know I asked you a couple of weeks ago and you said it's a fluke, still feel that way, kind of uncanny?
RAY WHITNEY: It is just lucky timing I would think. I won't say that's the reason, not to you guys, anyway.
Q. Could you talk about the sense of, if it wasn't desperation, at least purpose you guys felt coming in tonight?
RAY WHITNEY: We certainly didn't want to go down two going into Buffalo. We were a little disappointed in ourselves in Game 1 with how we played the second period and how we kind of came -- our game wasn't there for the full time. That's disappointing to us. Tonight we wanted to make sure that that didn't happen again and I think for the most part, with the exception of maybe some lazy penalties in the third, I think that happened.
Q. Talk about the second period today. Probably as good a period as you played in a long time.
RAY WHITNEY: Well, yeah, it was better than the other game, that is for sure. We just played harder today. We skated better in the second period. We made a note of it after the first to make sure we didn't have a letdown and continue to skate hard, and with our team when we skate hard it's, you know, it's a better mix for us when we don't stand around and watch other teams do their thing.
Q. Talk about having your dad here, the possibility of playing against the Oilers.
RAY WHITNEY: Well, that's a little bit beyond where I'd like to think right now, but I think he'd be a man without a team. I don't think he would be welcomed in either with one of those locker rooms for whatever reason. It would be tough for him, I am sure, but something that he would be very excited about, I think, as well.
Q. How important was it that you guys scored first, Matt?
MATT CULLEN: Important. It's tough to play catch-up against a team like that. The way that Miller has been playing, we certainly don't want to go down one, like we did last game. I sure think that was important for us.
Q. Matt, Peter was very upset about penalties called, do you guys feel the same way?
MATT CULLEN: I won't say we were thrilled with the calls, obviously, especially at the end. But it sort of evens itself out throughout the playoffs. We have gotten our share of calls I'd say.
We're not happy with the way it ended, we'll take the win and hopefully we get our calls when we need them.
Q. Eric, 12-game point streak, have you had a chance to even think about what that means? How big of a deal that is?
ERIC STAAL: No, not really. I think, like I have said, just trying whatever I can do to help our team win and guys stepped up and had a big game, Whit scored two big ones. That's a big win for our team.
Q. Wesley's play there, the dive.
ERIC STAAL: That was pretty nice play. I was standing right behind them. That puck was going pretty quick. He made a great play to keep it out.
You need those stops, you know, throughout the playoffs.
Q. (Inaudible).
ERIC STAAL: No, I knew it was going slow but I saw it going through him. It was moving towards the line and he made a pretty nice diving save.
Q. You did everything but score, you need somebody to redirect there a little bit too.
ERIC STAAL: I needed to Ray's touch to put it in the net. He made a good tip. That's the key, just getting to the net and he did a good job at that. It was a good job.
Q. When you went in on the breakaway, did it creep in your mind he's not going to do it again? When he made that save did it creep in your mind, "not this again"?
ERIC STAAL: I don't think it crept in my mind. Obviously I wanted to score. It was a minute left in the period, would have got us up by one going into the second, but you can't think like that. You got to keep attacking, keep playing, I thought the guys came out real hard the second and it was probably our best period of the game. We kind of took over from there.
Q. The power play tonight, anything that you guys really were making emphasis of doing differently or was it going back to same stuff as Game 1?
RAY WHITNEY: Pretty much the same. I mean, there's going to be games when your power play looks good and doesn't get anything for it and there will be games when it doesn't look as well but you will get a couple of goals.
Buffalo has excellent penalty kill. I think if anything, we were just trying to get our shots through. They are an aggressive team who is willing to block their shots, their forwards and defense will sacrifice their bodies and at this time of year that's to be expected. But in the same sense you have got to
anticipate they are going to do that and try to change your angle and do some things like that.
I thought our power play, went 0 and 4, wasn't horrible the other night, just things didn't go in.
Q. You didn't you get more traffic tonight (inaudible)?
RAY WHITNEY: I don't think -- we watched the videos as well. There were times when he did see them and there was times when he didn't see them as well and the shots just didn't get through.
So we have had traffic in both games it's just the opportune time to have them is when your shots get through. I think last game when the shots went through we didn't have somebody there, but we certainly had people at the net, it's just I think they blocked nearly 30 shots last game.
Q. Talk about going forward, what this does for your confidence, that type of thing.
Q. Yes.
RAY WHITNEY: Well, all year long we have been a very good team at not looking too far ahead. We realize we're 1-1, we got a split in our own building, that doesn't thrill us. As a road team you are always looking for a split. Now we're going to have to win one on the road, which we were going to have to do anyway.
We're good at just continuing with the path. We don't think too far ahead. We don't get too much ahead of ourselves, we'll be thankful for this win, but we'll bury it, just like we buried the first game and just like we buried all our bad games in the playoffs, and all our good games. We have been very good at leaving them at the rink. When we come here tomorrow we'll skate hard in practice, we'll look at video and see what we can improve and go at it again on Wednesday night.
Q. Matt, you guys have been good about bouncing back this year, did you expect this type of effort at least the kind of effort you put in tonight?
MATT CULLEN: I think so. We hope so, obviously we needed to have a big win tonight. We needed to play well. Kind of along the same thing as what Whit has been saying, I thought we've done a good job this year realizing for us to be successful we have to focus on our game and not worry about them. We know they are a good team and are going to come out and bang and play hard. For us the focus has to be on us. We learned our lesson about that throughout the year.
Q. Ray, you were standing there waiting for that pass, were you shouting at it or thinking, "please, just put it there"?
RAY WHITNEY: I was thinking, "please, put it there. Pick your head up and slide it," I was thinking. And he did thankfully, yes.
Q. (Inaudible).
RAY WHITNEY: It just kind of opened up. I think Wesley went down and he took that high forward down with him and then it just created a little soft spot and once Matt was done stick handling, he slid it over and it was nice, good play.

End of FastScripts...

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