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May 21, 2010

Michael Leighton


Q. Last night was your second game here?

Q. Second game you've played in this building? Didn't you play in the one in February, or was it your first?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: No, I played with Philly, and then I played with Carolina too. I actually started the game.

Q. But never a Playoff game here?

Q. Is it any different? With all these -- this is a season essentially for you with a lot of, I guess, firsts. Can you talk a little about what was that like? That was a fairly loud building, I don't think we've seen anything like that this season?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Yeah, we obviously expected that. We know what this town's capable of, and what the fans are capable of. So it wasn't a surprise for us. We knew what we were getting into.
For me, it's a fun building to play in. It kind of wakes you up and keeps you alert and gives you a chill sometimes when they're that loud.

Q. Did you guys see a difference in practice today? A lot of you guys talked about hopefully this is a wake-up call. Did you see any difference in practice as far as attitude, mindset, anything of that nature?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Yeah, we wanted to have a good practice, and I think we accomplished that. We wanted to make sure we were crisp. Obviously, tomorrow being a 3:00 o'clock game, we didn't want to just go through the motions today. So we had a good practice, and we stayed focused today.

Q. A lot of your teammates have been saying over the last few days we haven't played our best hockey yet, we're not playing our best hockey yet. You're Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, it's got to be time you start playing your best hockey, wouldn't you think?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Yeah, definitely. The thing was we played our best hockey when we had our backs against the wall against Boston. Just like you said, we've got to start doing it. If we don't, it's going to be too late.
It probably was a wake-up call for us. Hopefully it was a wake-up call to us to get beat like that last night. Hopefully we'll respond the right way and play a good game tomorrow.

Q. That first goal shot on the right came back on the left. Is there some getting used to in terms of the boards for a building like this? Is there still an adjustment phase when you come to a building like that?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Not really. A lot of different buildings have lively boards. Actually, I was trying to get my body over there, and I got caught up on my "D" man, and that's the reason I didn't really get my whole body over there. I just got part of it over there.
I know the boards here and the glass is usually not bad, bounces off the glass but the boards are really lively. So it's just something you've got to be aware of.

Q. Do you go over video after games? There were a couple last night took some odd caroms and stuff. Did you look at any of the goals and say I could have done this, I could have done that?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Nope, we didn't look at any of the goals. Me and Jeff Reese went over some things and just positives. At this point of the year you can't really dwell on the goals you let in. Obviously, if there is one thing I could have done differently, I should know in my head.
So everything was positive. We had a team meeting, and obviously went over a few things and systems, work ethic, and things we've got to change. Hopefully everything turns out good for tomorrow.

Q. You said many times since the start of this season that you were looking for a chance to prove yourself. What is the easiest or toughest, depending on your point of view, getting a second shutout back-to-back, or rebounding after a five-goal game like last one?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Well, obviously, I wasn't going to shut them out the whole Series. I knew they were going to score eventually. So obviously giving up five goals I'm not really proud of that.
So for me I'm not going to try to change too much. I just want to keep doing what I've been doing. Defensively we know we could have played a lot better yesterday, and I could have done a few things differently. I think collectively we're just trying to all work as a team in our zone and do a better job, and I'll do a better job. We'll just work together.

Q. Carle and Pronger were on the ice for the four first even-strength goals. They've clearly been your best defensive pair. Were you surprised that they were able to take advantage, or maybe it was just random, but that those guys have who been your backbone were on the ice for all four of the even strengths?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: I don't know. Both those guys have been our top four "D", have been really strong for us. I think last night it probably wasn't their best game, and a lot of guys on our team could say that wasn't their best game. So we know they're going to rebound the next game. I know Pronger's going to be one of the best players on the ice next game, and I'm sure he knows that too.
If we want to win, we have to have those top four guys shutting down their top players, and they're going to get the minutes, and we're all confident in them. We're not worried about that.

Q. Is there a concern that, by the way the Canadiens played and the way you guys admittedly didn't play well, that the Canadiens might have gotten their swagger back? They fed off the crowd. There were people sticking tongues out at players, just all this stuff. They seemed to have a swagger about them that was missing when they were in Philly.
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Yeah, obviously, we know that that's the way they can play. And that's the way they played the first two Series. They beat the other two teams because they kind of intimidated them, and they went after them. That's what they did to us last night.
We talked about it. We said they were going to do that, but we didn't really respond to it. They had a couple of guys that were mouthing our players all game in our face, and that's the last thing we should be worried about. We feel we obviously have a tougher team than them.
So that's something we can't get caught up in. We just have to let them do that. That's fine. That shouldn't change the way we play.

Q. Are you looking at tomorrow's game as a must-win for you guys?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: If we want to win, yeah. We obviously don't want to let them back in the Series. But we want our games at home, and we obviously we want to steal one in their building.
So if we play better, and play like we have been in the past, we should win this game and hopefully go ahead in the Series. But if it's tied 2-2 going back home, we're going to be comfortable playing at home. But we know we have to have a good game tomorrow and come out and win.

End of FastScripts

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