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May 16, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Game One
Montreal Â– 0
Flyers - 6
Q. Was there anything in this game that you guys didn't do or didn't accomplish?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, I don't think we were very happy with our first period. I thought Michael Leighton played really well in the first period, kind of kept us in it early on, and we had the chance to come back after the first period with the lead, mostly because of him. We just couldn't generate a lot of offense.
I don't know if it's from being so high in the last game. We didn't come out as good as we wanted to. But we started playing better and better, and we didn't give them too many chances to score in the second and third period, which was good to see.
Q. Is it tough to temper your emotions after a game like this? I mean you just mentioned how high you guys have been after Game 7 and such a lopsided score like this?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, tonight, like I said earlier, you have to stay grounded. It's just one game. We know they're going to come back a lot better, a lot stronger in their next game. For us, the goal was to keep the home ice advantage, win the two games Â– so we're just halfway there.
You know, we need to win the next game at home, that's who we have to concentrate on. From now on, we can't spend too much time thinking about what happened tonight. So we have to clear our minds from it. We're happy about the win, but let's move on and concentrate on the next game now.
Q. You guys have been playing desperate, elimination hockey for a while now. Will there be any change in the mindset going into Game 2 with the series lead?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, I just didn't like where we were in the first period. I think it was tough to get going. Michael was strong, and he was ready to go right from the drop of the puck, and that kind of saved us in the first period.
But it's the Playoffs. You don't want to sit back too many games. For me personally, it's playing Montreal. So the motivation is kind of easy to find, probably along with the other French Canadiens on the team as well.
Q. You guys got the power play going pretty well tonight, and that had been something that you guys struggled with a little bit. Can you talk about how key that is first not tonight and then the rest of the series going forward?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, yeah, it's a key point that wasn't going as well in the Boston series, and we were able to find a way through that series anyway. Our special teams were great tonight. We're going to need that, because Montreal has a very good power play, good PK as well. But tonight we won the special teams.
It goes a long way. It's good for confidence, even though there were a couple goals that were at the end when the guy just came out of the box. But still it was good to see the way we were able to control the puck and make plays, you know, and find the holes to score a few goals.
Q. So Michael, for your first playoff here, Game 1, talk about the way you played tonight and to pick up a shutout in this important series, and overall the way you played tonight?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: I'm obviously happy the way things went. It makes it a little easier when we score that many goals. In the second period we played really well. We came out flying in the second and got a few goals. That kind of calmed me down, and I think it calmed the team down, it took a lot of pressure off us right off the bat.
Q. Did you feel that you were really tested in the first period? I mean, usually in a lopsided game like this, the winning goalie doesn't face those kind of chances, but you faced an awful lot?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Yeah, they had a couple of good chances in the first period. I was seeing a lot of the pucks. They don't have a big presence like Boston did in front of the net, so I was looking over some of their guys and getting to see some of the pucks and we were still blocking shots.
I just had to make the saves I should make in the first, and we kind of took over from there.
Q. Halak is the kind of goalie who can steal games and get under players' skin. What was the message heading into today about how you guys could beat him?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, a little bit the same than when we faced Tuukka Rask, you want just like you mentioned the presence in front of the net. The first two goals were scored from the crease. When you're facing a good goalie that's hot like that, you have to try to make his life miserable, and early on we did that. After that we were able to find ways, pick the corners on a few shots.
But I think the key was having somebody straining him and making life tough on him in his crease.
Q. Are either of you surprised there was no emotional let down after the win over Boston?
DANNY BRIERE: Well, I think there was a little bit. I had the feeling that in the first period we didn't come out as well as we wanted to. And like I mentioned earlier, Michael was ready to go right from the start. If not for him, it could have been a different story. Instead of going ahead by a goal, we could have been down a goal or two going into the second period.
Q. After how you played in the last series, does it feel different having the lead in the series finally?
DANNY BRIERE: It's a lot more fun with the lead, winning games. But you have to deal with whatever's in front of you. You can't change what's in the past. But, definitely, the goal was to start with a win, like our coach said. There is only one crack at Game 1, so we made the most of it tonight.
Q. You talked in the previous games about having some nerves before the game started. You made another reference to it now a little bit. Are you more comfortable now than you were a week ago?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Oh, yeah, definitely. It's just taken me a few games to get into it. Tonight I think I was more excited just to get the series going. Obviously, we had a big high coming off that win in Boston. But we knew this was a big game for us. We didn't want to go down 1?0 at home. So we did what we had to do and moved on to the next one.
Q. You made 27 saves tonight and a lot of them came off rebounds and second and third chance opportunities. Was that something that you consciously tried to work on going into tonight?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Well, that's something I've worked on all year. You know, Jeff Reese, right when I got here, he kind of changed my game a little bit. I want to make the first save and be in position to make the second save and possibly a third save, instead of being out of position and a wide?open net. So that's something we've been working on, and I just have been getting more comfortable as the games go on here.
Q. Simon, do you feel you guys put some element of doubt in Halak's mind tonight?
SIMON GAGNE: I don't think so. It's only the first game. It's one game. I don't think you can blame those goals on him. A lot of them were screened in front of him. Two of them were on a power play, and we know our power play has been pretty good lately. We have to keep going and try to put the puck at net.
But I'm sure he's going to come out strong. He did it against Pittsburgh and against Washington too. I think they did pull him, I'm not sure. But I think Pittsburgh they did. And he came pretty strong the game after, so we have to be ready to have his best game next time.
Q. After you guys scored as many goals as you guys did tonight, will it be tough going forward to say to each other and keep the right mindset as this series is far from over?
SIMON GAGNE: Like I said, it's only one game. Yeah, we're happy the way we played tonight, but if you look at the first 20 minutes, that's the type of hockey you're going to play. After that, in the second we had a chance to go on the power play.
We were able to score two goals there and take the lead like 4?0. So it's hard in Playoffs, when you're down 4?0, for a team to come back from that.
But if you look at the first 20 minutes, we did try to shoot the puck, we only have six shots on net, but we had a lot more attempts at the net. They did block a lot of shots in the first, but that's the type of hockey they play. So if we have to look at that game, yeah, we're happy about it. But they're going to play a lot better next game.
Q. I imagine, based on the way you played in the first two rounds, in their match?up boxes most people checked Halak's name for the advantage in the series. Is that something you would think about, worry about, concern yourself with or take any motivation from?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Well, you look at our first round, we played Martin Brodeur, so, you know, Boucher was playing great. We go in, beat them. Go against Tuukka Rask, who had a great first round. It's a similar situation.
Halak's been their star for the first two rounds here. We're not changing anything. We want to change the same thing we did to Rask. Get in front of him. Put pucks at him, and make his life miserable. That's what we did tonight and we were successful.
Q. This is the first time since you've been back that you weren't playing with your season hanging. Just to be in the start of a series where one mistake isn't so fatal, how different was it? Do you think the whole team was able to relax because you weren't in that situation?
SIMON GAGNE: Like I said, it's only the first game. No, everything went on our side after the first period. It's only one game. We can be happy with what we did tonight, but they're going to come a lot stronger next game. We had a chance to play against Boston, Game 7, and I think tonight we bring that emotion into our game. I think that's why we're still a bit on the high from it.
So I think that's helped. We didn't have too many days between Game 7 and tonight, and I think that was good for us. That might be why we're able to use that and bring this to the game tonight.
But, no, they had a chance to have three days off. Like sometimes in the Playoffs you don't want to have too many days off between the series. We know, we went through it on the second round against Boston. We had a couple days off, more than that. We had five or six days. It took us a while before we got going.
So that might be it for them tonight. But the first one's on our side, but we expect them to look at the tape tomorrow and come a lot stronger. So we have to be ready, even more ready than we did tonight.
Q. Now that you have a chance to set the tone in the series, not starting behind, what was the kind of tone you wanted to set with the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1?
SIMON GAGNE: Like I said, use what we went through. In Game 7 we had a lot of emotion in that game. Will it be easy for us to come here and have the factor of fatigue, from all that emotion?
But I think it was just great to have just one day and not skating yesterday, and just come right away and play that first game. We didn't have too much time to think about tonight. We just kind of used what we went through.
It's good. It's good for our confidence. We have a chance to play at home ice something that I don't think we were ready to have before the Playoffs start. But we have to use it. Right now we have one game, but we have to look -- if you look at Playoffs, the second game is the biggest one you have to win. And we have home ice, and we still have to look for Game 2.
Q. After both of you -- both teams have had such incredible comebacks in their runs up until now. Did you expect the first game to be like this? For you guys to win 6-0?
SIMON GAGNE: Not really. You know what? You never know what to expect. I'm still going to come back to the first 20 minutes the way they played. We only have six shots on net, they had 14 shots on net, I think. That's the type of hockey they're going to play.
But we only had six. But I think we did try to shoot the puck like maybe 20 times, but they did block almost like all the other shots. So that's the type of hockey they're going to play.
No, I don't think we have to be too confident about what we did tonight. We have to stay down and get ready for them to come back in Game 2.
Q. Was there any word of caution on the bench once the league said hey, we saw this lead's going to disappear quickly? We have to make sure we keep our foot on the pedal?
SIMON GAGNE: You know, that might be a good thing, because we had a chance to go through it on their side and you never know what can happen, you know. Everything's possible in the Playoffs. We know that calls are going to be made sometimes. It gives the other team chances to go on the power play. You never know.
For us at 3-0 we had a chance to go on the power play and make them pay on that and we did. So every time you have a chance to, you know, to just put some puck in the net, even when it's 3-0, you never know in hockey what can happen. So that's what we did tonight.
But like he I said, it's only one game. This one's done now we have to focus on Game 2.
Q. Chris, did you feel that that opening penalty on you was to send a message that the series, anything that even remotely resembles a stick foul is going to be called?
CHRIS PRONGER: I don't know. You had a better view than me.
Q. Well, you made some facial remarks there?
CHRIS PRONGER: Yeah, it happens sometimes.
Q. You don't feel victimized?
CHRIS PRONGER: I can be animated at times, yeah. You like it when I am (smiling).
Q. Oh, how was that game tonight different than what you imagined it would be 24 hours ago?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, I think the first period was probably not what we would have liked to have come out as. You know, I think the shots were 13-6 or 13-7. Obviously, getting that, I don't know if that first goal was power play or the power play had just ended. But to get that first goal was huge and get off on a good start.
But after that, you know, they took it to us a little bit. We started turning the puck over a little bit. They're a transition team, and they get on the attack quick. You know, a lot of their chances were from the outside.
But Leighton did a great job of directing them back in the corners and areas where they couldn't get their second opportunities and that's where they got a lot of their goals from.
Q. How good does it feel to play with the lead and have a lead in the series finally?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, we were able to do it in the first round. I heard Simon talk about it, just having home ice, you've got to use it.
But as I said, the second game is very important. You know, we saw what they did against Pittsburgh last series and what they were able to do against Washington. They're going to come out even harder in the second game, and we've got to be focused and prepared.
We can look at the tape and see what we did wrong and correct a lot of different things. Because this game in the first period could have went either way?
Q. To keep the momentum going from Game 7 and to come up with a Game 1 win in the series, how important was it to keep the momentum going?
CHRIS PRONGER: Well, momentum's always going to ebb and flow throughout the course of the game and the series. But it's up to us to limit how much it does. By doing that, it's pretty easy. We need to not turn the puck over and move our feet and do all of the things that we talk about every single day.
But they're very important to the way we play. Being aggressive, and getting the forecheck, and defensemen getting in the transition and moving our feet and getting the puck up, all the little things that turn into big things.
Really, it's just, you know, again, looking back, or looking too far ahead and not looking too far ahead, and not looking past the first game.
Q. Johnson and Cammalleri were dominant in the first round, but pretty nonexistent tonight. Was that a case of focusing on their top scorers or is that the way the game played out?
CHRIS PRONGER: You know what, it's going to happen. They're going to have their nights. It's up to us to limit them as much as we can and keep them to the outside, try to keep them out of that high?scoring area out in the slot area.
We did a great job up front of backside pressure, not allowing them the turn ups and delay plays that they're very good at. Trying to just deny them the puck in the scoring areas where they like to get it.
Q. Is it going to be hard going forward after scoring six goals tonight to remind yourself that this is a long series and it's not even close to being over here?
CHRIS PRONGER: Not at all. I think we understand what they're capable of and how they play. You know, they're a quick team that gets on the attack and has a lot of guys that can capitalize quickly. You know, they're very opportunistic. They don't need a lot of shots. They don't need a lot of chances to put the puck in the net. We need to stay focused on that and not turn the puck over. We need to make sure we get the pucks in deep and forcing them to go in 200 feet.
Q. Gomez had a couple of discipline penalties tonight. Is that the plan to go in keep hitting them and take them off their game? Do you think that's a big part of their game, Gomez and Cammalleri?
CHRIS PRONGER: We want to play physical on everybody. As we said, when we get the puck in deep we want to play physical on their "D", create turnovers that way, and vice versa. When they get the puck in deep into our end and they're going to get it, we want to make sure
End of FastScripts