Mike Babcock’s post-game comments after his team’s dramatic 4-3 double OT victory in Game 2 in Washington.
How did that feel? Your thoughts on the game to start.
Babcock: Obviously, a big win for our team. You go down two and you’ve got to win four of five. This now sets us up to go home. We’re going to get better and better in the series, obviously, as our confidence grows. We’ll get used to it. We got on our heels right away tonight. We had a penalty call right at the start of the game. They were on the power play and I thought we were swimming for a bit. Then I thought we got playing pretty good.
How about Kasperi tonight? Two big goals. He’s got a reputation pretty quickly of scoring big ones.
Babcock: Obviously, a real good skater. He won a big faceoff and made the play. Boyle’s line, I thought, was good and effective all night. They’re big guys and they play hard and smart. They were effective for us. We’ll be able to use them better at home, too, because we’ll get the matchups we want instead of catching it on the fly all the time. That’ll be better for us.
Can you give us an update about Roman Polak and a comment about how the defencemen played?
Babcock: Obviously, he’s out. He’s done for the year. It’s unfortunate. Lower-body injury there. It’s unfortunate. It’s one of those things. Orpik is a good man. He plays hard. He didn’t mean to hurt anybody. It’s just one of those things. It’s unfortunate for Polie.
Trying to determine who your defencemen are throughout the rest of the game, when you’re playing with five and sometimes it seemed like you were playing with four….
Babcock: We weren’t trying to play with four at all. We tried to play with five. We tried to get them out there. Riels and Gards and Hunny and Marty all played, I thought, really well. They moved the puck for us and they skated good. Riels, to me, in the last couple of games has been as good as he’s been all year. Jake has had a heck of a year. I mean, Hunny has been solid for us. Real good second half to the season. Those other guys haven’t played near as much or have been given an opportunity, but I thought they were good tonight when they were given the opportunity.
You seemed to do a great job of getting the puck behind their net and working their D, especially Hyman. I thought he was great tonight.
Babcock: He’s great every night. I’m glad somebody noticed. He’s the guy who makes all the passes to those guys. He made a bunch of passes. We didn’t score on them, but he’s got unlimited energy. He’s as good of a forechecker as there is in the league. He’s a big man who skates and makes it hard on D. He’s an effective player for us. I thought as the game went on, Matty and him really took over.
With Polak out, do you expect Zaitsev will be back to kind of fill the hole on the right side?
Babcock: I’m not 100%. Either him or [Marchenko]. Obviously, if Zaits is ready to go, he’s going to get the opportunity. He skated today. He’ll skate tomorrow. If he’s ready, he’ll be in. If he’s got, Marchy will go.