December 5 postgame quotes: Pittsburgh

Sidney Crosby, on whether their start to the game affected their play:
Yeah, I think our start wasn’t great and it was just kind of catch up from there. Even saying that, I thought by the number of chances that we probably could’ve tied it up at least, but sometimes things don’t really work themselves out where you don’t deserve it. We were just trying to catch up from there.

Crosby, on whether Los Angeles was particularly focused on their defense at the start:
I don’t think so. You expect good starts here from them. You expect them to be physical. I thought it just took us a while to get our feet under us and to really get that compete mentality that you need against a physical team like this and winning battles, that kind of thing. We got to it eventually, it just wasn’t something that we established early on.

Crosby, on whether he was surprised by the outburst of scoring in the second period:
Yeah, that’s the way things work. Yesterday, I think, we’re talking about a 2-1 game and that kind of thing. You never know. You never know what’s going to happen and obviously we traded chances there a bit. But like I said, even with our slow start, I thought we stuck with it and could’ve easily tied the game.

Matt Cullen, on their attempted rally falling short:
Well, the only thing you can take out of the end of the game is that we wish we would’ve had that all night. If we have that all night, then we’ve got a great game and probably come out of here with two points. But we didn’t, so that’s the biggest thing you come out of here with, is your frustrated that we didn’t have that at the start.

Cullen, on Los Angeles’s defense:
I thought they were really tight defensively. Early, they were really good on it. But I thought that we didn’t make it nearly hard enough on them. I don’t think we got enough pucks behind them. Obviously we didn’t spend enough time in their end. It’s easy to defend when you’re only in there for five or 10 seconds and then you’re out. We didn’t do a good enough job of getting pucks and applying pressure, and they did a good job.

Olli Maatta, on whether Los Angeles is a difficult team to play against down low:
They’re a good team. They’re very strong on the puck. But as I said before, I think we have to do a better job of competing, battling and win those puck battles.

Mike Johnston, on whether there was a reason for his team’s slow start:
No, I thought that down low they hung onto the puck well and gave us a little bit of trouble down low in our zone, below the circles. And I thought that the execution on our breakouts weren’t sharp and that led to the slow start. You’re not executing on your breakouts, they get a little momentum by hemming you in your zone. And really, our execution breakout wise has to be better than it was tonight.

Johnston, on the difficulties of trying to overcome a three-goal deficit:
Yeah, it’s really tough and we had the chance there at the end, with five minutes left, to score the tying goal. I like how we came back, but our last half of the first period and second period, I didn’t like at all. I thought they had better jump than us, better compete on loose pucks. We have to be better than that.

Johnston, on Marc-Andre Fleury’s performance in goal:
I thought Fleury was good. He made some good saves in the game. There was one he didn’t have a chance on, for sure. I’ll have to take a look at them. Flower has given us great goaltending. There’s nothing to complain about with Flower.

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