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June 12, 2006

Rod Brind'Amour

Eric Staal

Cory Stillman


Q. Cory, how important was it to get that first goal so quickly after they scored and kind of deflating the building?
CORY STILLMAN: They came out and scored against us first, this time we got an opportunity and I scored. We had a chance last game with Willie having a breakaway and it silenced the crowd a bit and allowed us to get back into the hockey game.

Q. More than just being physical here, they were really trying to get under your skin. Did you sense that was happening? How did you stay composed?
ERIC STAAL: I felt I was getting involved. I wanted to get dirty, get in the physical battle, and you know, it was intense out there, you know, he had a few words for me, but it was a battle, but I felt good getting in the mix.

Q. Rod and Cory, the last couple of days the story has been that Eric has been slumping. You guys have been around this league a long time. Talk about his composure, how he responded tonight with a strong game?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I think yesterday I got asked that question and I said you know what, just watch what is going to happen. He's one of the best players in the league for a reason. It's not just because he has talents, it's because he's consistent night in, night out. I thought he has been playing great hockey, just hasn't been scoring. Tonight he made two great plays, that's the difference in the hockey game.
Can't say enough about him.
CORY STILLMAN: You know what, it was good to see him get back, you know what, we knew it was going to happen. I think the biggest thing for him tonight right from the start, he came skating and when he can do that he opens things up, and he's going to make plays. We're not necessary -- everyone was talking about he's not -- first, he doesn't have points, et cetera, not goal scoring. To be honest with you, if he plays well and doesn't score, as long as he makes plays, it's great for our hockey club.

Q. Eric, walk us through that second goal, how it happened from your perspective in the middle there?
ERIC STAAL: Well, I was the third guy high and Stiller made a good job pressing Pronger and kind of got a stick on puck and Pronger tried to throw it, I think, make a pass or something and he kind of deflected it and good thing I am eight feet tall and I caught it, and then put it down. I knew Recchs was kind of back door, I just tried to make a move and throw it back there to him there.

Q. Talk about the hockey you have been playing and maybe if this is the best you feel you have ever played?
CORY STILLMAN: You know what, I think I am getting some breaks to be honest with you, I moved the puck sometimes, I have picked up a second assist or whatever, but I feel good out there. The game, you got to play with confidence and I have that right now. I am trying to make plays, trying to make guys I play with better, and you know what, I have some points consistently. But you need your own linemates to step up and they have done that.

Q. Rod, you got a sense out there at all tonight that the Oilers appear to be getting frustrated now by what is -- you know, their lack of success on the power play, and all of these things, you guys can tell that, what did you feel?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: I didn't truly sense any frustration on their part. Seemed like they were actually pretty calm, between every whistle, every setup seemed like there wasn't a lot of panic going on. But to be honest with you, I'm not really focusing too much on them. But they didn't seem to be, you know, panicking or frustrated, to me.

Q. Cory, you obviously played a little more with Eric tonight, just about everybody else, the way you guys were moving things around. How do you think the lines scrambling changed the dynamics of the matchups what effect did that have?
CORY STILLMAN: We were all over the map I think for the first two periods, you know, we put ourselves in trouble taking, I think, three penalties in the first period, if not four. So you know, we scrambled around. I got a chance to play with my normal line with Roddy and Willie. Got a chance to go out there and play with Roddy. We're trying to equal out the ice time with guys. I want to say that, sometimes guys are going to play more because of the power play, penalty kill. I got a chance to play with him, and you know what, it was fun again. I had played in probably 80 games, 75, 80 games with him, so it was nice to get back with him and, you know, try to get things going there.

Q. Cory, you are on the verge of winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. What advice would you have for the guys in your locker room in terms of winning a deciding game?
CORY STILLMAN: Well, this is going to be the toughest game we face now going home. We need to come out, we need to be better. Every time you ask them if they win or lose, you still have to be better. But this is going to be the toughest game for us that we face is the one that's going to close the series, and you know what, we're looking forward to doing that on home ice.

Q. Rod, clearly there's going to be a huge sense of anticipation when you go back to Carolina. How will you guys deal with that going home?
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: That's the one thing about this hockey club all year, we're just kind of focused on the next game and I think it's good that it comes right away. There's not a couple of games in between like we had. You fly all day, we're right there it's game day. In essence that's probably better.

Q. Do you think this will end the talk about a so-called slump and what was it like tonight having your father and brother here watching?
ERIC STAAL: I don't really focus in on -- I am just trying to play good hockey whether -- we just want to win games, whether I am putting points on the board or whatever. Bottom line is I want to help our team win whatever I can do, whether it's playing, you know, good defensively, at both ends of the rink. I felt nice tonight to contribute and help out on those two goals, and now we're are focused on the next game to try to get it done at home.
And second question, it's been great, I mean having my parents around, you know, they are both -- they have been to both games in Raleigh and up here, and my brother having this experience to watch the Stanley Cup Finals and me being in it is pretty unbelievable, and you know, I am sure he's having a great time.

Q. Rod, just a question about the penalty kill again being such a big factor in the game tonight, and also there was a lot of talk yesterday about the Oilers might be wearing you guys down by being physical. Talk about the physical nature of your team's play tonight.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Well, the playoffs are physical, and it doesn't -- I don't know it's any more physical this round than any other rounds, to answer that question.
And yeah, I mean, penalty kill has been huge for us, no question. We're getting too many penalties. We talked about it, we didn't want to do that and we walked into the same thing as the other night. Fortunately for us our penalty kill has been great and our best penalty killer has been great and that's our goaltender. It's not the recipe to do it but we got through it.

Q. Rod, a lot of penalties for both teams in the first two periods seemed what inconsistent. How tough was that to get into a flow? And for Eric, double shifted early, a lot of line juggling, got to play with Cory again, did you get the sense that was the plan to get you more involved to do some of those things?
ERIC STAAL: Cory is the type of player that you want to play with. He moves the puck very well. He finds you in areas where you are going to make plays and, you know, we talked about, you know, getting everybody out there with everybody. We took a lot of penalties early, kind of got mixed around, but it was good to get back with him. And I have said it before, he's the most underrated player I have ever seen. He gets points and makes so many great plays and, you know, he's a type of player on your team that you want to play with.
ROD BRIND'AMOUR: About the flow, it does wreck your flow. Like I mentioned last game, you know, we have a certain amount of penalty killers but your best players aren't getting out there when you have to kill penalties and that definitely affects them.

Q. By winning on Saturday night the Oilers got a life back, got wind back in their sails, how important was it for you tonight to take that away, to win this game and pretty much not give them any more life?
CORY STILLMAN: It was very important. Game 3 is a big game, and it put them back into a 2-1 series. Obviously tonight if we didn't come out, if we didn't play well, you know, get timely goals or whatever we would be going back home tied 2-2. We didn't want that. Obviously every time you take a step closer to winning, especially four games, is important and tonight was the biggest game for us. We want to say that from now on. Tonight was the biggest game. It's over with, we'll go back and when go back to Raleigh that Game 5 is going to be the biggest game we have ever played.

End of FastScripts...

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