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Stars-Red Wings postgame quotes

Here are some quotes following Tuesday’s Stars-Red Wings game which the Stars won 4-2. These quotes are provided by Dallas Stars PR.

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock

On the Stars getting their first win:

“I was thinking, on the bench, that we’d played three great hockey games. To have the record we’re at, I know everything isn’t fair, but it would have felt poorly to not finish this one off. We’re still in the learning curve of puck management when the game is on the line and we’re still on the learning curve as far as some of the things we need to do with a one goal lead. I thought at the end of the day our big boys really took over. That shift they had, which was almost two minutes, was incredible. They won all the battles, all the faceoffs, they got the puck out and they did what they were supposed to do so I was really happy for them. I thought that we’ve played three games in a row now where we’ve played really, really hard. We’ve played three games, except for four or five minutes, close to our identity. You want to see the guys get rewarded for that and tonight they were.”

On the Stars’ second through fourth lines:

“I thought this was the best balance we’ve had. This looked like something you can really build on. (Remi) Elie was a very effective player for us. He’s great on the boards and has great speed. We look like we can really deal people some body blows with the way we’re playing right now and that’s the way we’re built. You take away that top line and, while those guys can play a heavy game, we’ve got three other lines that can play a heavy game and that’s the way we’re going to have to build our game. I think the players are starting to understand that. The game got away from us a little bit in the second. We got frustrated with all the scoring opportunities we had and couldn’t finish and then we tried to hit home runs for four or five minutes. Other than that I thought we did a really good job today.”

On the play of Tyler Pitlick:

“Two things, speed and good stick. He’s got a great stick. He’s been well coached and he puts his stick in the right lanes so you know that people can be teachable and coachable if you can do that. (Assistant coach) Rick (Wilson) had worked really hard with him. We saw that on game film when he was with Edmonton. One of the things that Pitlick had going for him was that we played Edmonton a lot early so we had a really good understanding of what he was like and we saw that stuff when we looked back at the video.”

On the play of Julius Honka:

“He had really good energy. He brings a creative presence. I think he still needs to move to the next level because he defers too much and that’s just a young player but I thought he brought really good energy to the group.”

Stars Forward Tyler Pitlick

On making the other team uncomfortable out there:

“If you want to be a championship team in this league, you have to have four lines that can play with anybody and we definitely have that here.”

On if he has played a consistent role on the penalty kill in his career:

“Never. This is a first and I am enjoying it. It’s good. I don’t play power play, so if I am not on the penalty kill I am spending a lot of time on the bench, so I am enjoying it.”

On why has it been so easy for him to jump in on the penalty kill:

“I don’t know. They have had confidence in me and let me play. In the past I have played in the preseason for a bit and then they have had their guys, so I haven’t had the opportunity to dig in and do it. It has just been getting the reps and getting the work in practice. They have had the confidence to put me out there so I have had the confidence to play.”

Stars Goaltender Ben Bishop

On getting his first win as a Dallas Star:

“It’s exciting; especially at home in front of the crowd. It’s nice. I maybe would’ve liked to do it in the first one, but we’ll take the two points. It was a big win for us. You never want to lose three in a row in this league, so it was a big win at home and now we go on the road for a division opponent. It’s going to be an important game.”

On if there was any anxiety in the final minutes of tonight’s game:

“Obviously, we have some work to improve on in the third period. Just need to be a little bit more composed, but we did what it took. Sometimes it wont always be pretty, but if you find a way to get two points that is all that matters. So, we definitely have some work to do, but we’ll take it.”

On if it’s a good feeling to help Ken Hitchcock move up in the all time head coaching win list:

“Yes, absolutely. He’s been a hell of a coach for a long time, so hopefully we can get him many more and have him keep climbing.”

Stars Defenseman John Klingberg

On getting the first win of the season:

“Yeah, I think we’ve been playing pretty good in all three games and it was nice to get the win today. The first one in the books is nice.”

On what he saw on his first goal:

“We were actually setting up another play, but the puck came right back in the middle, so I just tried to move right in on the blue line and tried to shoot pass the blocker. It then bounced in somehow. It was nice to see it go in.”

On the power play scoring so far this season:

“We’ve been playing with each other for awhile now. I think it’s three years now that I have been playing with [Tyler] Seguin and [Jamie] Benn and obviously [Jason] Spezza before as well. So, we know each other and we know what we want to do well up there, and obviously scoring three games in a row on the power play is going to help your confidence.”

On the third period how they play late in games managing the lead:

“That’s how it’s going to be. I think we can be even better at that. Just keep putting pucks deep and working down there. I felt like we sat back a little too much. Obviously, we won the game, but maybe we could have done it a little bit better, I think. We got away with the win today so we should be happy.”

Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill

On the lack of offensive chances:

“We didn’t have nearly enough (offensive zone) time. Now they play defense a little bit different in the d-zone which makes it a little harder. I didn’t think we had enough guys at that ultra-competitive level. Our competitive level can’t be fine. It’s got to be outstanding. I also think we didn’t have enough guys skating well enough. We didn’t have enough pressure on them. I thought when we pressured them we were able to create turnovers, but we didn’t do enough of it.” 

On the lack of success in the faceoff circle:

“We have to do a better job with the faceoff circle. The one thing I will say with that is we are very worried about taking that penalty. I guess I work through the league and see if they’ve called it.”

On being proactive in the defensive zone:

“We talk about being proactive, and proactive means that when something breaks down somebody else is there for him. We weren’t proactive at all on that goal for sure. You’re going to have mistakes, that’s why you have teammates. I thought we had a chance to be proactive there and weren’t. Petr (Mrazek) wants someone back but he also made two unreal saves right after during the penalty kill that should’ve been in the net. So that (evens things out).”

Red Wings Forward Henrik Zetterberg

On Dallas generating so much offense:

“They came with a lot of speed. They lost the first two games so we knew they would come out flying. I thought Petr [Mrazek] was really good for us there. When they dumped the puck, he came out and played it and we got out of our end a few times easy. But still, they had the puck a lot and faceoffs were a part of that.”

Red Wings Forward Anthony Mantha

On his goal in tonight’s game:

“I knew we had traffic there and we just tried to shoot. I just wanted to turn around and fire that puck in.”

On the momentum he thought his goal gave his team:

“I think the third period we came out strong. I can’t say the same thing about the first two periods, but we knew we had to get some fire going in the third and that’s what we tried to do.”

On their power play tonight:

“That was a great play from [Henrik] Zetterberg to [Justin] Abdelkader there. I think we could do better, that’s for sure. I don’t think we are shooting enough pucks. Our entries weren’t that bad, but we need to battle for loose pucks and the second chances.”