March 9 Postgame quotes: Washington

Justin Williams, on if he got emotional when seeing fans’ response to tribute video:
Sure. Of course, any time you get a reaction like that you’re going to have some emotions, I’m not a stiff, ya know. I’m not a robot. Obviously nice to see but kind of after that it was just a standard hockey game that we’re trying to win and obviously come back and win with the piss poor start we had.

Williams, on how the crowd’s reaction made him feel:
Humbled. Honored. Little emotional obviously. I had a lot of my success here, team-wise, individual-wise. I’ll always have great memories, great friends here. But it was game time, it was game time.

Williams, on if there’s any good feeling after the way they rallied:
No, nope, nothing, zero. It’s been our Achilles heel. Our starts have been terrible, can’t come back every night, that’s certainly not going to happen. So we’ve got to jump on that, that’s been a problem for us.

Williams, on if being down 3-0 was different:
No, we’ve had this quite a bit actually. We seem to be down 1-0, 2-0 in quite a bit in games. Resiliency, character brings us back and talent obviously but it can only bring you so far.

Williams, on the third period rally:
Well listen, I think it’s kind of human nature. They’re up 3-0 and they’re kind of sitting a little bit and we’re going, going, going. We had nothing to lose, you either lose 3-0, 5-0 it doesn’t matter. So obviously when we’re playing on our toes we’re a lot better. If we could start like that we’d be a heck of a lot better as well.

Williams, on if he knows why starts have been an issue:
Nope, nope. It’s personal preparation. You need to get yourself ready. It’s not anyone else’s job.

Williams, on salvaging a point:
It’s a little something you can lean your hat on but nothing, it’s a loss.

Williams, on if the Capitals’ string of one-goal games has been hard on the team:
Nothing. Stuff gets you prepared for playoffs. Every experience throughout the regular season, everything you go through will get you ready for playoffs. Give you something to lean on, something to reflect on. Something to use as motivation. We’re able to come back, yes. But, starts are key.

Mike Richards, on how the crowd reaction made him feel:
That was nice. To be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. That was nice, as I said this morning, I’ve always enjoyed my time here. I liked it. It is what it is but it is nice coming back here and getting that warm reception. [Reporter: Did you circle the date on your calendar?] No. No. It wasn’t. It’s nice to see your friends, see people that you’ve had success with. It’s not any bigger game … It felt a little weird going up against some of the guys but we just played two weeks ago too so it’s old hat I guess now.

Richards, on if he got emotional watching the video:
Not really emotional. Like I said, it was nice. It was nice to be acknowledged. Like I said before I enjoyed my time here, I had a lot of success, lot of great years and a lot of great memories. So, it was definitely a nice reception.

Richards, on what he’s learned about the Capitals in his time with the team:
Not great starters but I guess we’re good closers. We have to crack that. That’s no good to spot people goals and play the way we did especially when you can see how good we are when we play well it’s something that has to be corrected and pretty quick here because the season’s winding down and then the real hockey starts.

Richards, on the mental strain of multiple one-goal games:
I think that’s good. I think that’s good for us. It teaches us to play in close games and when you’re comfortable in games like that, that’s how it’s going to be in the playoffs. We showed that we can handle and play in those big moments and we seem to strive off that so that’s a good sign.

Alex Ovechkin, on forcing overtime:
We’ll take it. Obviously it’s a good experience for us. Again, we bounced back against a good team. In overtime it’s kind of 3-on-3, odd-man rushes all the time. We didn’t use it and they used it. Take one point and move forward.

Head coach Barry Trotz, on the Capitals fighting back:
We will take the second half of he game and say, ‘that’s what we need to do and the way we need to play.’ This group wouldn’t be satisfied with that effort in the first period for the whole game. We’re playing a very good team. The LA Kings are not going to let you come into their building and have an easy game. We took a while to engage into it and once we did we were fine. It was a good learning lesson and maybe down the road we can run into each other again. It’ll be a good reminder for us.

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