Quotebook: Columbus Blue Jackets Steal Game One Against Washington Capitals

By Kyle Morrison on April 13, 2018 at 8:01 am
Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno carries the puck against the Washington Capitals

Geoff Burke – USA Today

Coach John Tortorella

On Panarin’s goal: We’ve talked about that all year long – we traded away a really good player in Saad to get him, different type of player, a guy who makes something out of nothing, makes a great play on the tying goal and then scores a goal that a lot of people can’t score in this league.

On Panarin adding offense: As I said last year, we grinded with scoring chances and had a tough time scoring some goals. Big time scoring chances, that’s important this time of year if you want to win those high-stakes games.

On the penalty kill: We needed to come clean those two and a half minutes in the beginning of that period – there was plenty of game left and we knew we just had to stay with it. We took too many penalties. Quite honestly – although we gave up two – I thought we killed penalties really well tonight, we’re just doing it too often. Important part of the game to not get hurt there.

On having to shorten the bench: Quite honestly, I think the players enjoy that. They’re happier because they can get on the ice quicker and more often. We just stayed with it. Obviously with the injuries and the penalties, there were some different line combinations, but there was no panic on the bench. I think guys play better when they get more minutes, and they were certainly getting more minutes with some of the stuff going on with us tonight.

On the comeback: We were having a ball. There was no nervousness, they were having a ball. The way we scored the third goal, banging it around, keeping it in, Jonesy scores it, I don’t think you can equate experiences in the regular season and situations with these games. I’m just glad that early on in the series that they can experience this.

On Foligno’s brief injury: We heard the sound, we were hoping that it did hit his shield which I think most of it did. That looked pretty serious, he was leaking a little bit, but we knew he was going to come back. I think the shield took the brunt of it but that’s a scary thing when it does happen.

Captain Nick Foligno

On the flow of the game: Were comfortable in this environment. We’ve been in it for a while now, we got down two, unfortunate how that penalty was called. Never quit, we just had to get our game going. The guys just took over, some great plays, some big blocks. So many guys contributed in so many ways tonight.

On Bobrovsky’s big second period: Once we all got our feet under us, came out in the second and really started dictating play a little bit. That’s a huge character win in game one. We wanted to come here and get one, now we have to worry about two.

On fighting through the third: Talk about our depth, since the trade deadline it’s next man up. Unfortunate about the Wenny hit, I didn't like that at all. Guys hung with it, we were short-manned after [Anderson], and found a way and got our game going. Sometimes it helps you too in a game like that, you just keep going over the boards, doesn’t matter what’s going on. Huge credit to the guys and the way they played, rallied around those adversities and found a way to get a win.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky

On the start of the series: It’s the first game, it’s important to have a good start and build up from there.

On the chaotic game: I try to prepare myself to play no matter what, it’s my game, just do my things and block all that stuff around me.

On the team’s comeback: The only thing that matters is wins in here, and the guys all understand that. I give them big credit for tonight’s effort, they were great.

On Panarin’s highlight-reel winner: I’m not surprised, he’s a skill player and he made a big goal.

Center Pierre-Luc Dubois

On his first playoff game: I think it was important tonight to establish myself and show them that I can win those face-offs, I think everyone did a great job in the face-off circle. Those wingers helped a lot, a lot of those 50-50 pucks ended up on our side.

On coming back despite injuries: I think it speaks to the depth we have on this team, we added key pieces at the deadline, everyone played really well tonight. Whether they’re in or not, we have guys that are going to step in and they’re going to do a really good job.

On the regular season: I learned a lot, a lot of ups and downs, I thought I gained confidence through the season and took some big steps, winning those one-on-one battles on the walls was one of them.

On the atmosphere of the playoffs: I was so excited, it was so much fun. The pace is high, the stakes are high, the fans are going, it’s amazing.

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