Ryan McDonagh shares thoughts on season-opening win, Lightning standout performances

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Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan McDonagh discusses Andrei Vasilevski's standout performance, rookie Mathieu Joseph's debut, and the first game of the season.

- No, it's game one of the season. Obviously I don't think anyone really liked our start. Give them credit. They come up with more jump than us. But we responded there in a second period, didn't spend a lot of time in their zone, and it kind of gave us confidence going into the third that at some point we thought we were going to find one. And it wasn't pretty, but we found a way to get to the point there in over time, or in the shootout. So it was a rewarding feeling.

REPORTER: We know this team can score goals. When you get deep into a game like this, you just have the confidence that at some point something's going to break through?

- Yeah. Like I said, I think our second period kind of set the tone for us going out there in the third. And we had to kill off some penalties, kind of took some momentum away from us. But did a good job all night, and certainly have to tip our cap and pat him on the back a few times. Vesey was pretty incredible. For game one to have that focus and step up, over time was-- I don't know how many chances they had. So it was great to see him really sharp here for game one, and definitely was the main reason why we got the two points.

- You got a lot of time to kind of sit around now, unfortunately, for a few days before you get back on the ice again. What will you digest from this game that you want to improve on in game two?

- This a tough league. It doesn't matter if it is game one, or late in the season. Any time you can get two points, no matter what the fashion is, you feel good about yourself. And like any team, at this point in the year, you know we got things to work on. And we're very aware of that, and we're going to keep working on things, all areas. So it's good that we got some time here to digest this, and feel good about ourselves tonight, but get back to work on Monday.

REPORTER: Are you impressed at all with Mathieu Joseph and his NHL debut?

- Really impressive. I mean, I've been impressed since the first day I seen him on the ice. And it's no coincidence that he carried that play right into the first game. His skating ability separates him from majority of the guys on the ice. And he finds a way to get to that speed game a lot. And he's not afraid to go in the corners and come out with a puck. And he can make those second and third plays happen for guys and create space. So it's great-- felt awesome. This has been a big training camp for me. First time with a new team. So it was important for me to really get in sync here and try and play up to speed the way we want to play. And it's always good to get to two points and feel the crowd roaring out there.