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June 4, 2010

Claude Giroux

Michael Leighton


Flyers – 5
Blackhawks - 3

JAMEY HORAN: Questions for Michael?

Q. How well did your defense play in front of you just blocking shots, number one, and keeping guys to the outside?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: We knew they were going to come out and put pucks on the net. That was kind of our thing. Lavi said don't let pucks get to the net. Those little wrist shots from the point, try to step in front of the guys and knock those down.
We did a great job. They did let something get through. Without screens it was pretty easy some of them.

Q. Did you kiss your post at the end of the game?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Why? They had a couple -- they are a good offensive team. They're going to get those chances. It was unfortunate we took those two penalties and kind of let them back in the game at the end and made it a little more interesting. But, you know, they came hard and thank God we won.

Q. Michael, did you think this was your best game of the Series so far?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: I think so, yeah. I actually felt my best today too. I was comfortable. I wasn't nervous. I just -- I had confidence in our team that we would play well. And in the first period I felt I made a couple of saves that really got me into the game and kept our team in. And we scored a goal early and kind of fed off that.
I'm just trying to do my job, and obviously we did a great job scoring goals tonight and putting pucks on the net.

Q. Michael, it seemed as if you came into tonight a little more aggressive than normal with your stick and just moving around in the beginning of the game. Was that a conscious effort on your part?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Not really. I'm not really changing anything. I'm playing the same way. I know they're a good offensive team. They're going to get chances. Game 1, I felt okay.
But I wasn't making the big saves and keeping our team into it. So right from that game, I just said I have to make a few of those saves, and we would have won Game 1 if I would have made two or three really good stops. Just trying not to let in a bad goal. You play solid and make the odd great save. Tonight it worked out.

Q. We're down to a best of three now. What are your emotions when you look at the next three games? We've seen all tight games. What do you expect over the next two or three?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: I don't think much is going to change. It's obviously -- it's got a little bit chippier out there, a little rougher, a lot of talking; and I don't expect much is going to change. We're going back to Chicago. We have to win a game there eventually.
So this is going to be the most important game for us. Tonight was obviously a big win for us. We have to go into Chicago and give the same effort and hopefully get the same results.

Q. They hadn't scored a power-play goal until that five on three. Can you talk about the penalty killing unit and how instrumental that's been so far for you guys in the Series?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Not only the Series, I think all year we have had a great penalty kill. We obviously got the top four D that are doing a great job blocking shots and keeping pucks away. Our forwards, the work horses, are blocking shots up top and clearing pucks really well.
That's kind of been our MO all year. We took a lot of penalties throughout the year, but we also had a great penalty kill. That's why we're here right now.

Q. Michael, how nerve-racking was it for you in the last three minutes, and have you ever been in an ending that was that intense for you personally?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Yeah, it was obviously tough to be up three goals and you're kind of relaxed a little bit, and all of a sudden boom, boom, it's only one goal. I was trying not to think about it too much. I was just trying to make the saves I had to make. I had to make one or two stops in tight. Besides that, we did a good job keeping them on the outside and blocked a few at the end.

Q. You guys really struggled down the stretch with face-offs and kind of led to some of their momentum. When your team struggles off the draw, how much more pressure does that it put on you as the goalie?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: Obviously, the only ones I'm worried about are in our zone. If they win a clean back it gives them a great offensive chance. They can do a lot with their puck when they win it back to their D man. We did a good job, even if we lost it tonight, we put pressure on them and blocked shots. We kind of kept them on the outside.
So it's obviously important to win face-offs. But, you know, you can't win them all. Obviously, if they win it clean, it's a lot more difficult for our guys to get out there.

Q. How much did you sneak peeks at the clock in the last 4:10. Are you afraid to do that because you'll break concentration? What's your policy on that?
MICHAEL LEIGHTON: I look at the clock every 10 seconds. I'm not too superstitious with that. Every time the whistle blows, I'll look up and see what time it is. Obviously, the last three or four minutes was a pretty intense feeling. Like I said, I try not to think about it. I just try to keep doing what I'm doing. I know they're going to be coming hard the last couple of minutes. Pulling the goalie and everything. Just trying to do what I can do, and it worked out.

Q. Claude, can you talk a bit about the play of your line and the success you had tonight matched against their top line?
CLAUDE GIROUX: I think we had a good first period, and the whole team just came out strong. I think it was our best first period in the Series, for sure. I think we took momentum from that third period last game, and we really were skating and working hard.

Q. Claude, could you just talk about what was going through your mind as Chicago inched closer and closer?
CLAUDE GIROUX: I think we started thinking too much and stopped playing. The five on three, obviously, hurt us. Guys did a pretty good job of still winning the game. Obviously, it was close. We just have to learn from that.

Q. Could you talk about your captain tonight and how he stepped up?
CLAUDE GIROUX: Richie always finds a way to step up when it's time. Obviously, his goal was huge. He just always finds a way to get that big goal for us.

Q. Claude, a little more physical tonight in the first period than normal. Do you enjoy that part of the game?
CLAUDE GIROUX: It's pretty fun, obviously. Yeah, we just -- we don't want to give their D too much time with the puck. So we just try to be a little more physical.

Q. Just getting back to the 4-1, 4-3 lead. As a fan that might be watching at some point they're waiting for the clock to run out. As a player, can you talk about the delicate balance between going for the fifth goal rather than giving up the second one? And subsequent goals? Is there a point at which the team shifts its mentality a little bit to make sure it's more about not giving up rather than scoring another one?
CLAUDE GIROUX: Yeah, I think we laid back a little bit more and we didn't forecheck the way we did at the first two periods. I think we have to learn from that, and obviously that's not the kind of third period we wanted. But at the end of the day, we got the win.

Q. Claude, can you describe JVR's performance tonight? Pleased with the way he played?
CLAUDE GIROUX: Yeah, he didn't play the last two games, so anytime you don't play, I think it was like four days he hasn't played, it's tough. He was really skating. He was making plays. He played a very good game. Our line was able to create some offense.
JAMEY HORAN: Thank you, Claude.

End of FastScripts

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