PITTSBURGH ó Cory Clouston didnít sit down for a long one-on-one chat with Brian Elliott before his first playoff game.
There was no need to remind the young goaltender he was going to be facing the defending Stanley Cup champions, that there were players named Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the other side who are powerful offensive machines.
Letís face it, he had enough to deal with already.
ďIf I said (those things) I would have given him a heart attack,Ē said Clouston. ďWe just wanted him to focus more on his structure and his game. Donít worry about (anything else), just worry about playing the game.Ē
While Elliott didnít get off to the kind of start he wanted in the playoffs, he made
17 saves and was a big part of the 5-4 victory.
He was glad to get through his first playoff game. Now he has something to build on.
ďI just told myself I waited my whole life for a moment like this,Ē said Elliott. ďIt was awesome. The crowd was really into it and you could just feel the intensity in the air. I think our guys responded really well.
ďItís never about goalie vs. goalie. Itís always about the team. They had some good blocked shots and we had some good blocked shots. Itís not about (the goalies) all the time. Itís about us performing as a team and the five guys on the ice.Ē
Milan Michalek, moved to the right wing on a line with Mike Fisher and Jarkko Ruutu, left in the third period after it appeared he re-aggravated the knee injury that kept him out of nine games earlier this season. Michalek, who played the right side with the Sharks and in the Czech Republic, made the move at his request. The club will provide an update on Michalek on Thursday.