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NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: DEVILS v RANGERS


May 25, 2012


Peter DeBoer


NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: Game Six

Devils 3
Rangers 2


Q. What did you tell the team at the end of the third period and how did it apply to the winning goal?
COACH DeBOER: Well, we talked about what we talk about between every period, and that's we wanted to get back and reestablish our forecheck. We felt it was going to be a forecheck goal like it was the other night in the third period in Madison Square Garden. And it was a version of that.
I think we caught them on a line change there and their defensemen were tired. We got a little bit of room on it and found a way to jam one in. That's the only way you're going to score on Lundqvist is you're not going to get a clean one; you're going to have to work for it around the net. And that's what we did.

Q. Henrique got a little banged up. Was there ever a chance he wasn't going to come out and play in the overtime?
COACH DeBOER: I don't think so. We had a lot of guys banged up this time of year, and we had a bunch of different guys go down with different things and playing through things. That's what you deal with this time of year. But if guys have any human way of getting back on the ice, they do that.

Q. In the follow‑up, could you talk about the poise he showed as a rookie throughout the whole series?
COACH DeBOER: Again, unflappable. I mean, this kid's just the right place, right time, all the time. The two biggest goals of the Playoffs come off his stick, and that's not accidental.

Q. You said yesterday you had hair in 1994, but I imagine you also had hair in 1995 when Brodeur won his first. How much has he turned back the clock, especially tonight?
COACH DeBOER: He was outstanding. Got on our heels there.
First, credit to the New York Rangers. For me, from day one of the season through to the end of the Playoffs here, for them, the hardest working team I think in the NHL. And they gave us everything we could handle. It was the same story every night. We'd win the first period; they'd win the second. Whoever won the third or the overtime would win the game.
So we feel fortunate to move through and proud of beating such a hard‑working team. And it took all four lines and six D and Marty.
And I thought Marty tonight was outstanding. When it got 2‑2, there was half a dozen opportunities where the game was on the line, just like Game 7 in Florida in overtime when they took it to us.
I mean, he has a calming influence. He finds a way to make a save at the right time to give us a chance.

Q. Not many would have expected you to win three straight from New York. What turned it around?
COACH DeBOER: You know, this is a resilient group. I don't have the answer to that, other than we've just been getting better and better. Just like our season, you know, we talked about a slow build. We were a little tentative through the first round against Florida.
I thought we really found another level against Philly, and we needed another level against the Rangers with the team they had.
So we're trending in the right direction, and I think we're playing our best hockey right now.

Q. Pete, did you sense that Marty wanted this one a little bit more, whether it was for'94 because he was going up against the best goalie of today's game in Lundqvist?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah. There's only one guy that likes beating the Rangers more than Marty, and that's Lou. (Laughter).
I mean, hey, these guys have been through this rivalry for 20 years. So I'm happy for both of them.

Q. Time‑wise, every year the New Jersey Devils expected to be here. What does it mean to you to be the coach as it returns to that level?
COACH DeBOER: Oh, honored. I mean, I was out of work last June and July and got a call from Hall of Fame general manager who recognized some of the work I had done in Florida and gave me a chance to work with a group of guys that have a great blend of veteran presence Stanley Cup brings. They know how to win and a lot of great young players coming through.
So I'm fortunate to be sitting here. It could have been a number of different candidates that he talked to, and I'm thankful that I got the opportunity.

Q. First year here, you're going to the Cup. Is it too soon, or can you enjoy this moment right now?
COACH DeBOER: Oh, no. These moments you enjoy. It doesn't matter whether it's your first year, your fifth year.
We talked after the game. Dainius Zubrus is a great example. Went to the Cup final in his first year in the league, and you're 10, 12, 15 years later, and he's getting a second opportunity.
So you don't get picky when these opportunities come along. You enjoy every minute of it, as much as you can, because it's awful tough to get here.

Q. Would you describe postgame on the ice with Tortorella, what took place?
COACH DeBOER: You know, he was very classy. He came over. Shook my hand. And there was nothing more than that.

Q. How important was it for you guys to set the tone in the first period against this team?
COACH DeBOER: I mean, that's been critical for us the entire Playoffs, is dictating play, coming out ready to play.
We haven't held on to the leads that we've created for the most part, but it's given us an opportunity to get off on the right foot, build a little bit of a cushion, and we've needed it at different points.
You're never going to play a perfect game. We have to work on our second periods a little bit but our starts have been critical.

Q. How do you feel about meeting a totally different type team in the Kings? What do you think your chances are?
COACH DeBOER: Well, you're down to the last two teams in the league. So the record speaks for itself; who they have beaten and how they've beaten them speaks for itself.
I feel we've beaten some pretty good teams, and like I told you, I told you my thoughts on the Rangers and how good a team they are.
So we're looking forward to the challenge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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