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May 10, 2013 11:55 pm

May 10 postgame quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the Kings-Blues series:
“There wasn’t much ebb and flow in the series, quite honest. It was so close. It was always one goal, other than the 2-0 lead here briefly for St. Louis in the last game. It was sort of shift-to-shift competition the whole way.”

On whether the series was “nerve-wracking” for him:
“No, I’m used to it, no. I guess if you’re young and inexperienced it would be a little different. It was hard on the players because it was a hard series to play. [Reporter: One shift could swing it one way.] Tonight was probably different than the other games because their team – if they don’t score, they’re going home.”

On whether he knew that Dustin Penner’s goal was good:
“You know what? The clock couldn’t tell you, right? But we got it within a couple seconds, that there was still two-tenths, so we knew it was good.”

On coming from behind in the series to win:
“It’s not easy to come down. You know, not many teams will do it in a period. That’s still the best part about our team. It didn’t matter if we were down two-nothing or up two-nothing. We still have the mindset about the next game, always, and take care of that, not series.”

On whether it’s difficult to get his players to focus on the smaller picture:
“No, I think they believe in it. First off, otherwise you don’t make the playoffs being the defending champion, and you don’t win rounds being the [defending champion]. It’s not easy, quite honest. It was a lot of pressure on our players, and I said all year they handled it really well. They had a tough foe this series. I talked to our guys – You know what? St. Louis won a series last year, then we had to play them in the second round, and then there’s zero difference in the [teams]. They finished ahead of us two years in a row, and I give both teams a lot of credit.”

On the benefits of staying within California in the next round:
“I just know we finished six in 10 days, and we need to give just a reset, and then we’ll see. That’s up to the coaches to get to work on how we play…[Reporter: The travel. How much does that help in the next series?] I have no idea. I mean, we’re really not looking at it like that yet.”

On the mutual respect in head-to-head coaching battles with Ken Hitchcock:
“He’s a great coach. You know, we’ve both coached a long time. That’s one thing about guys that usually coach a long time – they’ve coached good players and good teams. That’s how they do it. So that’s why there’s respect there, because of that. Because you know you’ve got to go down the road and there’s a lot of tough times.”

On Dustin Penner playing his best hockey in the playoffs:
“He matched his season. He matched his regular season. [Reporter: Did you see him going better tonight, and did you think this was a game to use him more?] It’s strictly an attrition thing. I wasn’t trying to use him more. We tried to use everybody more. That’s why it worked. We played six in 10 days with not much rest in between. I think whoever scored the first goal tonight was going to win.”

On how good the Kings are:
“We’re beat up and tired and we’re practicing Sunday and know by Monday who we’re playing. Monday morning.”

On where the series turned, and whether it turned:
“I’m sure when they were up two-nothing in our building, we came back to make it two-two, that had an impact on the series. I don’t know if there was ever a turning point. I said it all along and repeated that. It was more of a shift-to-shift deal, and tonight was a little different because one team, if they didn’t win, was going to be eliminated, so they were going to pile it on.”

On what gave the Kings an advantage in the series:
“Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with series. Goals against are critical. Penalty killing is critical. Scoring big goals is critical, and faceoffs are critical. We got better as we went along.”

On whether he can “taste it” again:
“I don’t think you get much from winning four games other than tomorrow off.”

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