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May 22, 2010

Chris Pronger

Maurice Richard


Q. It looked like a few of your players were going off the ice a lot to get something done. What was going on there today?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't know. I was stepping on a lot of skates or sticks, and hit the post a couple times. But I think it was five times that I had to get my skates sharpened tonight, which is obviously a bit much, but Bricks did a good job getting me back there quick.

Q. As a follow?up, there was a report on TV that there was some sand outside your locker room?
MIKE RICHARDS: I'm not sure. I didn't check the carpet for it. But I was stepping on sticks, and I hit the post twice I think too, so Bricker said that they were a little bit too big for being sand pellets. I can't see that happening.

Q. On Thursday night you said you talked about how that was an ass kicking, using your words. How important and how pleased are you, proud of are you of the way this team responded today?
MIKE RICHARDS: Yeah, we've responded all year from disappointing losses, and tonight was no different, full confidence that we would do that, and we played well tonight.
Chris and I were talking while we were in the dressing room. When we got the puck in deep, cycled, and didn't turn the puck over, we had success. That's something that obviously we have to continue.

Q. What do you think changed? You guys have struggled in the first period. You guys have talked about it. Today it seemed like you didn't really have any issues and in the second period again turned it on. What do you think clicked in this game that maybe wasn't going on in the first three games?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, I think, as Mike just said, our ability to not turn the puck over, make sure we got everything in deep; get our legs moving, get skating, get into the game early.
We've now talked about it three or four games. Our starts haven't been that great, so tonight was very important for us to get off to a good start, get our feet underneath us quickly, and we did that. We had a very good first period.

Q. Uncharacteristically you had a rough game in Game 4. How much did that motivate you?
CHRIS PRONGER: Three. Three.

Q. Sorry. Thanks. Game 3. How much did that motivate you today?
CHRIS PRONGER: Let me check with my statistician. Game 3, right, Tim? Okay. Thanks.
Obviously, when you have a tough game, you want a rebound. That's the sign of a professional, and I think we all realized there wasn't too many of us that had a good game in Game 3. They obviously played well and we didn't. We needed to rebound. And as Michael alluded to earlier, we've been a team that's been able to recover from tough defeats like that all season long, and quick look in the mirror and you see what you need to do to be successful, and we were able to rally together and play really well as a team today.

Q. You've been in this situation before, one game away from going to a Stanley Cup Final. Is that different than when you're preparing to close out the first round or second round and you have to sort of be wary of that going into Game 5?
CHRIS PRONGER: No, with each Series it obviously gets harder and harder, but I don't think you can look past that next game and that next win. You've got to focus on closing out a team and being closers. We've got a team now down 3?1. We've got to get that fourth win.
We've got to understand what it's going to take, because they're obviously a team that's had their backs against the wall throughout the course of this Playoff, through Washington and Pittsburgh, and they've been able to rally and come back. We obviously want to stimy that and make sure we're putting our foot on the throat.

Q. What is the adjustment that you make in this game that allows for the 27 blocked shots? Is it just sticks in the lane, or is it defensively guys are back and in better position when they have the puck?
CHRIS PRONGER: It's a lot of different things. It's making sure you're getting in the lane, making sure you're closing faster to close out the lane quicker. Good sticks in lanes forcing them not to pass it to an area where they can shoot right away.
They've got to adjust and pick the puck up and try to move around it, which allows you to kind of close on them quicker and get in that shooting lane. Our forwards did an excellent job of blocking shots and getting in shooting lanes tonight.

Q. Talk a little about the two goals in the second period that you guys got. They were both on long passes for breakaways. Was that something you guys saw through past games that maybe those lanes were open, or was that more of an instinct?type of play?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, Geez, Claude's goal was pretty much all him. He picked it up and kind of dangled his way through and made an unbelievable play, and Ville just he took off and I just kind of saw him. I don't think the "D" man saw him over there. Got the puck to him and he made a great move to get the puck in the net.

Q. The return of Lappy and Carts, nice emotional boost there for you guys?
MIKE RICHARDS: Yeah, it was. When we play with a full lineupÂ… I think just checking out the minutes played, we were all four lines pretty good. We're a good team, and we play with a lot of energy, and Lappy's obviously an emotional guy which we feed off of. And Cartsy's speed and his shock give a lot of people problems too.
Like I said, it's just rolling four lines, having everybody in the lineup, and feeling comfortable throwing any line on the ice at any time.

Q. Does what you guys accomplished in the last round allow you to better guard against overconfidence with the 3?1 lead right now?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't think anybody in that locker room's overconfident. I touched on it earlier: you look at what the Montreal Canadiens have accomplished in the last two rounds in beating two pretty good teams in Washington and Pittsburgh after being down. We need to understand that.
We've been in that position if not a deeper hole ourselves, and understand that until you get that fourth win, nothing is going to be easy. You know, the fourth win is always the hardest to get. So we've got to make sure we have that closer mentality.

End of FastScripts

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