The Carolina Hurricanes are now on the board in their second round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning following a 3-2 overtime win in game three Thursday night, and will look to even it with game four Saturday.
Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media Friday, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On Warren Foegele and Vincent Trocheck: I think both those guys will try tomorrow and then we’ll see. But no new medical update.
On how tight the series has been: I thought we deserved better in our first two games and they were probably the better team in this game. It’s one little play here or there that makes the difference. That’s what’s happened for three games.
On if he’d consider playing with 11 forwards and seven defensemen if Foegele and Trocheck are out: We consider that every game. It’s always a consideration. I’m not a big fan of it, just because the seventh D really doesn’t play. But it’s definitely a consideration.
On if beating Andrei Vasilevskiy three more times out of four feels like a daunting task: It’s no more than it did we started the series. We know what we’re up against. They’ve got a great team, and they have that great goalie as well that’s part of their team. That’s part of what makes them great. We’ve got to beat him, we’ve got to beat all their guys, [Nitkita Kucherov], [Steven Stamkos]. We’ve got to beat all their guys. They’ve got six or seven elite players, and that’s why they’re the best.
On the touch pass Teuvo Teravainen made: Nothing amazes me with him. He’s as skilled as they get, and he sees the ice as well as anybody. That’s kind of what happened on that play. Those don’t hit every often. But those are the guys that have the ability to make those kind of plays. So that was obviously a huge part of the game.
On if being in the right place at the right time for goals is an art: I’m not sure there’s an art to it. Scoring goals, you’ve got to be in the right place. I think the confidence does help when you’re feeling it. Obviously, this year, he’s had a good year in that area. I think he feels confident in his abilities. I don’t know if there’s an art to it. It’s definitely a talent, definitely a skill, but I think how you feel about your game helps too.
On if Petr Mrazek is a better goalie when he has something to prove: I don’t know. I think everybody, sometimes, if that’s the kind of thing you need to motivate you, it might help you. But when he gets in there, like most goalies, it’s them vs. everybody else. That’s the one position where you’re part of the team, but you’ve got a different job than everybody else. Last night was huge for us, and it’s going to have to be that way moving forward if we’re going to beat these guys.
On how big of a lift winning game three was: I think had we lost that game, down three is obviously tough, but it wasn’t a 3-0 series. And I think that is where it gets real deflating. I think both teams have played really well, and we’re still here and we’re not in a great spot down 2-1. We’ve got to win another game here, but at least we’ve got that opportunity, that chance. That’s what last night gave us.
On anticipating a push back from the Lightning and Andrei Vasilevskiy: You always prepare for another great effort after a loss. I think they’re going to come even hungrier and we’re going to have to play even better. From the goalie out, we’ve got to be in his eyes even more, create more shots, create more havoc and you know he’s going to bring his best.
On the games being tight: It’s two good teams. It’s one bounce either way. The other night, we had a good bounce and we got a win. Both teams are going hard and trying to find ways to win. We’ve got to do an even better job of finding ways and making it harder on them.
On if there’s an art to being in the right place at the right time: I’ve been telling the group that we’ve got to get to the net. That’s where the puck always seems to be going the way we play. The more often you’re there, you’re going to get some bounces. My left leg’s hot and hopefully it’ll stay hot. But being around that net is always big and especially against a goalie like that, we’ve got to get in front of him, like I said before, that goal is no different.
On Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen’s chemistry, and Teravainen’s touch pass on the second goal: I didn’t have any idea during the game, but I was eating some food after the game and I watched a replay, and I almost lost my mind. That was obviously a high-end skill. There’s not a whole lot of guys that can pop a backhand tip sauce through the middle, through his legs to a breaking player. So obviously those two, you guys have seen it. You know they’ve got great chemistry and they need to find each other well. And [Andrei Svechnikov], he’s just a work horse. They’re all very talented, so there’s a reason why they’re as good as they are.
On if he knew he tipped the winning goal: It went in the net and I was excited. I wasn’t worried about it. We were happy we won the game.
On using the stretch pass to generate offense: It’s two teams that have got some great D corps that can move the puck well and forwards with speed. I think both teams, with not a lot of room, are really just relying on moving the puck quick and getting it out of our end, hopefully getting a bounce here and there. That’s all it is, just kind of putting stress on the other team. That’s why those long stretch passes are just playing in their end and grinding them out. That’s always been our goal as a group, and we’re going to continue to try to do that.
On how he’s so good at faceoffs: I’ve got a lot of people that have helped me throughout my career. Last night, I struggled. It is what it is. Sometimes they go behind you, sometimes they don’t I just use my strength as best I can, using my body. Roddy’s helped me a ton, obviously being one of the elite guys on faceoffs when he played. A lot of other players throughout my career. Just using my strengths, and hoping they keep going behind me.
On if the approach changes with players out: Now I’m on the first group, so that changes a bit for me, and there’s added pressure there. But I think as a group, we have to just play the same way. The guys that have come in have played really well and have just been preparing as pros to step in and play well. I thought [Morgan Geekie] had a great game, he had a bunch of chances. And we’re going to have other guys come in and out. Playoffs, that’s an unfortunate part of it. You’re not going to get through a whole playoff round without injuries, but it’s the depth that our group has that will hopefully get us over the edge and get us through these few injuries.
On this being a tough season for him and if last night can be a jumping off point: It’s been a tough year for sure. But I just try to focus on the next game and I’m just enjoying being healthy right and playing these big games with a full house of fans out there. It’s crazy to think that we can play real hockey again. It’s good.
On preparing for a push back from Vasilevskiy: They’re a really good team. They have a lot of good D and their goalie’s unbelievable. But we don’t really think about that. We just try to play our own game, put some pucks at the net and create some traffic. We’ll get some bounces, for sure, and we’ve got to earn all of those.
On the injuries at forward: It’s been that kind of year for us. If you lose a guy, the next one has to come and play good. It’s good that we have those guys that can step in and play those minutes. Whoever’s out there, they’re going to play really good.
On his chemistry with Sebastian Aho: We’ve played together so many years and so many games that we kind of know where we are. Those little plays come so quickly, that you’ve got to sometimes just kind of think that he’s going to be there. A lot of times he’s going to yell something and I hear that he’s somewhere. I just try to put the puck in the right areas for him. That’s what happened for him and it was a big goal for us. I enjoy playing against that top line of theirs. It’s been a good battle against them. It’s a lot of skill and a good pace.
On the game-winning goal: It’s just a lot of times when I have the puck, [Aho]’s trying to get open somehow. I saw him go in the middle and get a little space. I just put it in on his tape, and that’s a good shot. It goes in from [Staal]’s legs. It’s one of those small plays that happens quickly.