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May 16, 2007

Chris Drury

Ryan Miller

Lindy Ruff


Q. The new line that you put together, what was your thought behind that, and obviously you're happy about how things turned out?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Yeah, I think if you go back to last year's playoffs, Drury and Roy were a pretty good connection with Mike and Derek - Derek has flourished playing with those guys. My thinking was just try to put those guys together and try to get a little bit of chemistry and a little bit of offense. Sometimes you get lucky when you put lines together.

Q. Did the opening goal set any sort of tone for you, or is that something that you just look at and say "Well, it's a bit flukey"?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I think, you know, again you've got to get - I mean, the goal the other night was a bit flukey, too. Sometimes you got to get some breaks, and I thought we got an early break. I think getting the break is one thing, but, you know, Derek's deflection was a hell of a deflection.
It's one thing to get the opportunity and another thing to finish it. I don't know if he could have put it anywhere else, and it was an advantage that we needed to take care of, and it was a good pass and a good tip at the same time.

Q. Lindy, you guys put together a 3-goal lead. What do you tell the team after Ottawa gets two quick goals to get back in it?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Just stick with the system. You know, things have really been going good. I thought we really had been playing well. You know, we had a number of kills in the first period and gave us some momentum where we kept them off the board, but we went into the third with a one goal lead and said, "Let's stick with it, trust it."
I thought we played a solid 3rd period and a responsible 3rd period, not one that we wanted to trade chances or anything. We played - spent our time in their end, and the last power play that we missed two, three great opportunities to get the second goal to put a little spread there, but we didn't get it.

Q. Lindy, you guys saw some limited ice time. Talk about Zubrus' situation also and Dmitri in the back end.
COACH LINDY RUFF: I went into the game thinking Brian Campbell and Toni seemed to play real good when they garner a lot of minutes and part of it is desperate times. We needed a little bit of a desperate measure. We sort of threw all our eggs in one basket. Zubie is suffering from a lower body injury and tried to play but wasn't able to get through it. So that wasn't what we wanted, but we gave it a go.

Q. Down 3-1, do you have any sort of momentum going into Saturday, would you say?

Q. Do you have momentum going into Saturday, would you say?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Well, I think, you know, I looked at it and heard we had 10,000, almost 10,000 of our fans in our building tonight, which I just think is absolutely awesome. Those fans have been behind us all year long, and I think you've got to carry the momentum from tonight's game into that game and, you know, it's up to us to do it.
You know, we put ourselves in a situation where I don't think, you know, they'll want to go back and get in a Game 6 situation. They're going to probably go after it as good as they can go after it in our building. We've got to try to play as good as we can knowing that we've lost two there to them.

Q. Does getting one make you think that you're any closer to getting four of them, or is it something you don't even dare to hope for? The second part of it, does getting one give them a scare?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Well, I think getting one gives us a chance that - what I mentioned yesterday about every 33 years, something great happens in this league, and by getting one, we've given ourselves a chance at the approximately 33 years to have something great happen.

Q. Thirty-two?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Well, thirty-two and change. But that change, you guys use that for beer.

Q. Can you talk about Tim's contribution? He logged a lot of ice time for a guy that didn't see any season play. Talk about his progress and contribution to this line.
COACH LINDY RUFF: I thought, you know, absolutely gave it everything he had from - I think the thing that impressed me the most was going down with a double knee block and just saying "Hit me wherever you want to hit me, but you're not getting the shot through me." That's the type of desperation that will help us win games and the type of courage and desperation he showed to get back and play after being gone that long, to play not only as well as he has, but not being in top physical condition is very impressive. You know, he's laid it on the line. He's been hit. He's got hit but he keeps going.

Q. Lindy, there was a lot of talk about people needing to step up including your two captains. Could you talk about their performance tonight?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Well, we said - I'll repeat it. I said as a group we needed 20 guys to play better, and we've relied on all four lines and we've relied on key people in key situations, but at the same time we need contributions from that surrounding area.
But I thought tonight, you know, both those guys stepped up and the play Drew made good and then the goal - may not look at it as a goal that - Emery probably looks at as a goal that he wants back, but it's still a goal that went in. It's the game-winning goal for us.
So those contributions along with the kind of killing we did tonight were on Drew's side, and I thought the Briere line had some real good plays. Just didn't take advantage of some of their situations.

Q. Lindy, why did Kalinin go so long without shifting?
COACH LINDY RUFF: We decided to just shorten the bench. We went into the game with the thinking that we may play four defense. We may play four defense as long as we can, due to the fact that we know how well Brian Campbell and Toni have played in the past when they play every other shift. No more than Tim and throwing all our eggs in one basket and playing the guys that we thought were going the best.
I had a conversation with Dmitri this morning about it. I really think that, you know, he really played well in the first two series. He struggled a little bit in this series, and we just threw it all in there and went after it.

Q. How about the penalty kill?
COACH LINDY RUFF: The penalty kills in the 1st period I thought we did a real good job. I think the one in the 3rd was the longest penalty kill I've ever seen. Seemed like about a four-minute penalty kill, and it lead to another one. But they had some good opportunities on that one, and Ryan made some big saves.
I thought we had some real good blocks. I thought we did a good job in the shot lanes, and we had them frustrated for a little while.

Q. Lindy, I'm sorry if you've been asked this, but we've thrown the word "desperation" around for a couple days. Clearly it was there tonight with your team?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Yeah, it was. I said that. We had a good meeting last night, talked about - you know, we talked about what type of team we need to be, and I thought to a man those guys stepped up and did a tremendous job tonight.

Q. Lindy, you talked about what you said to the team at the end of the second period, but they seemed on their heels after those two quick goals. Did you have to really go in and sort of issue a rallying type, you know, speech to them, or is it just very matter of factly say "Stick to the game plan"?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I didn't say a word when I walked in after the period. I only talked to them with about five minutes left in the intermission and talked about, again, just "We're going to trust our system, we're going to play it. Have confidence in handling the puck and moving it, and when you get it, just skate."
We had no magic recipe. It was going to be hard work and desperation. I thought we stuck to it.

Q. I apologize if you've been asked this, Lindy, but Chris Drury basically said "You can either go home crying and whinning, or you can come back fighting like a dog." And you see him back it up. Does that at all surprise you? He doesn't say a whole lot in the room.
COACH LINDY RUFF: No. I think it was - it was time - you know, on a sense of changing lines, it was, you know, with the fact that Zubie had been struggling, Drew's line hadn't been getting much scoring chances. So switching lines I think helped.
This is the time of year where you have to step up. You have to say something, and the leaders on the team need to be leaders. I think we mentioned, you know, we can kill ourselves a lot on the inside. We're not going to kill ourselves on the outside. He doesn't say a lot, but when he does say it, I think it means a lot.
Q. On Monday, you said you felt the team let Ryan down. Today, you guys get the 3-goal lead while he came up with some big saves, too. Just your thoughts on his performance?
CHRIS DRURY: Yeah. It definitely - definitely thought that on Monday, squeezing one out of it, get us to overtime. Tonight we did get a quick lead, and he held us in there on the PKs and no - we had some great chances.

Q. Chris, yesterday you were basically saying you guys could either, you know, cry and whimper home or come out fighting like dogs. Did you share that with them or was that just us?
CHRIS DRURY: That was a whole locker room thing. I wasn't me just saying it. Everyone understood that, what we were up against. I think actually it relaxed us. At some point, I don't know when it was, yesterday guys just almost seemed - not the weight of the world but certainly some weight was lifted off our shoulders. As loose as we've been in a while.

Q. Ryan, can you talk about the effort in the 3rd period, particularly the way the 2nd period ended, the way you guys battled and held that lead?
RYAN MILLER: Speaks to how we prepared in the last few days. We understood we were going to have to battle, and when things kind of weren't going our way at the end of the 2nd, we could have even packed it in there and say, "Oh, this is too tough." But we reacted well.
We battled through some tough situations, and we had some tough penalty kills in the 3rd period. I thought Drew did a great job with Jochen, and Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman got caught out there for a long one, and at that point, you just hunker down and try and battle through it.

Q. Chris, you were out there the whole two minutes. How tough is that to do?
CHRIS DRURY: It's a long shift. You're not - your not really conditioned for that or set to kill two-minute penalties. They knew it. You could see how excited, how focused they got when they knew they had us dead and whipping it around pretty good.
Then when we get the other penalty, it comes into a six-on-four That's not something you practice a lot. We had some good chances there. We made some big saves and able to kill the next one, too.

Q. Chris, can you talk about the quick goal to start the game off, what that did for you guys?
CHRIS DRURY: I think it even relaxed us a little more. Our starts in the last game in here wasn't too good. So getting one in, it settled us down more and also gave us a lot of energy.

Q. Ryan, maybe even, Chris, the save in the second period on Vermette penalty killing could have been a tie game, instead you end up with a five-on-three and convert an the lead is 3-0.
RYAN MILLER: Yeah. Just following the puck. I didn't know Vermette got himself in quite the shooting position that he got himself in. I knew somebody was hanging out up there if Kelly was going to make the pass. Got across and tried to go back the other way and was able to get a pad on it.

Q. Ryan, what does this win, you know, facing elimination, to win this game and go home, do for the team?
RYAN MILLER: I think it allows us to begin to focus for the next challenge, which is just the next game at home. I think it should make us feel good, but we know we have to get focused and together for the next game, and it's going to be tough. It's going to be a battle. But I like the direction we went tonight where we had to earn everything we got, and I thought we did a great job of frustrating them for the most part.
They were getting a little chippy and angry at the end there, too, like we had been at the end of some of the games. And that's good for us.

Q. I have a question for each of you. If you don't mind, Ryan, I'll start with you. Can you take us in the room after the second period. What's the mood like in the Buffalo room, and does anyone get up and try to calm the guys down?
RYAN MILLER: No. I don't think anyone had to say too much. I think we just did our normal routine. Just sit down, take a rest, and we talk here and there, but it wasn't any panic. It wasn't like, "Oh, my God, we have to hold on."
It was more just been here before, take control, play the system, believe in each other, and that's how you have to get it.

Q. Chris, going into the game your backs are against the wall. When you see Ryan battling the way he did, how much confidence does it give your group?
CHRIS DRURY: It's huge. In my opinion it's the most important position in all of sports. When we look back there and see him, it gives us a lot of confidence. Even on off days, you can just see his focus, and I think the rest of the guys feed off that on a daily basis.

Q. Chris, again, what Ryan was asked a couple questions ago, just getting the win tonight and getting to go back and have another chance in front of your own fans?
CHRIS DRURY: That's all we were talking about since Game 3. Just fight for a chance to get home and, you know, been successful at home for a couple years now, and we know our fans are going to be ready and it's a big game, but we like our chances there.
Q. Chris, you said this whole situation with your backs against the wall made you guys relax more. Going back home, do you guys kind of like this fact that maybe you'll be more relaxed and kind of the underdog situation. Do you like that better?
CHRIS DRURY: Yeah, hopefully we thrive on it. You know, for whatever reason, I don't know what it was, it definitely relaxed us. At the same time our focus was still pretty good. We're going to have to play a good game and have a great 1st period, and hopefully going home we can just feed off the energy and emotion that the fans are going to be bringing. We should be certainly more confident after just winning one.

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