Gallant: Rangers need to be grittier than Lightning in Game 4

New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant believes that the Tampa Bay Lighting deserved to win Game 3 of the conference final because of the compete level they brought on home ice, and that his team needs to play grittier if they are to extend their series lead in Game 4.

Video Transcript

- You guys have seen pretty much every scenario so far in the playoffs. You feel like this is just another one to respond to, the way the last game went?

GERARD GALLANT: Yeah, we're getting lots of experience.

[LAUGHTER]

No, it's been great. Like, I mean, we can't complain about the way things have gone in the playoffs. We're playing well. We're working hard. You know, last night was a tough loss, but we bounced back today and get ready for a big game tomorrow. So it should be fun. We're looking forward to it.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Ryan Strome update. What kind of adjustment was it on the power play without him?

GERARD GALLANT: Ryan Strome, he is not skating today. Not-- very few of the guys are skating today. So he should be fine tomorrow. We'll see tomorrow, but he should be fine to go. And I don't know what the adjustment was. We put the fella out there, and he looked pretty good actually. So we'll worry about that if he's not playing tomorrow, but we fully expect him to play tomorrow.

- Stay on the right for Molly.

- Ryan Reaves was saying yesterday that this is the kind of team that you have to bury when you can. You can't give them any breathing room. And thinking of that fact, how big of an opportunity is this game for you here?

GERARD GALLANT: Yeah, no, it's another big game. Obviously, we took care of our home ice and we lost the tough one yesterday late in the hockey game, but you got to get ready for one game at a time, as I always say. And you know, tomorrow is a huge game for us.

We got to compete and we've got a battle. We've got to play a little grittier than we did last game. But there was a lot of good things. And keep playing our game, keep working hard. And like I said, it's 2-2 or it's 3-1. So we'll see where it goes.

- Stay on the left to [INAUDIBLE].

- Just a question about Trouba yesterday with the three minor penalties. What did you see? I mean, regardless of the calls, is that just a tough day at the office for him for everything that he's done for you?

GERARD GALLANT: Ah, you know, penalties happen. He plays a lot of minutes. So, you know, unfortunately, he got some penalties, but you know, I want him to play the same game. Keep working hard, keep battling hard. Trouba's, you know, he's a gritty defenseman who plays tough for us and plays hurt.

So a couple tough calls. The little trips, but their penalties, so you got to call them. And we didn't get by some of them, but it's the way it goes.

- Center left, Dan.

- I guess just two questions just to clarify. You fully expect Strome to be able to go tomorrow?

GERARD GALLANT: I expect him to.

- OK.

GERARD GALLANT: I haven't been told any different right now.

- Right. All right. You guys, for the last two rounds, were the team-- were in Tampa's shoes. You were down and had to come back. Now, you're in this position. Can you take a little bit about what you did in those spots and use it to guard against almost what--

GERARD GALLANT: Well, you'd like to, but Tampa's a good team, and we knew the pushback was going to be there yesterday. You know what I mean? Like, they were down 2-0 coming home. So we knew they were going to bring their best game and they did.

They had 50 shots, they competed real hard. They won a lot of loose puck battles. And they were gritty, played a gritty game. We still had an opportunity to win that game, but we didn't.

But again, we know the-- they're not going to give you anything for nothing. Like you said, they've won what? 10 series in a row? So we're going to have to take it from them. We're going to have to be a real good team. We're going to have to go out there and we have to take it from them. They're not going to give us nothing.

- Front right to Mark.

- Gerard, Jon Cooper was saying a little bit earlier that he saw a distinct change in his team with about eight minutes to go in the second period at the Garden on game two in terms of just their puck management and the possession and whatnot. Did you-- have you noticed anything in looking at the film in that and how much of a different team was Tampa last night?

GERARD GALLANT: Well, they played-- they played great hockey. I said that from yesterday on. They played-- they were the competitive team. They deserved to win yesterday and they did. So we're going to bounce back tomorrow and play a little gritty or a little tougher, and we'll be fine.

- Front left to Art.

- Penalty kill has been really good. And last night, they seemed like they found a little bit more space in the-- in your four, just especially going across. Is that something that is just a little detail--

GERARD GALLANT: Well, I got to disagree a little bit there. I mean, they scored from the play that they always do from the outside, the slap shot by Kucherov. And then the second one, our guy fell. He opened up the lane. So I wouldn't say our penalty kill struggled. I would say, there was a couple of unfortunate plays for us. Do you agree with that?

[LAUGHTER]

- I agree with that.

GERARD GALLANT: You know, the [INAUDIBLE], the lane was wide open, the guy fell. So it opened up, and he got a pretty good shot, so-- and then--

- Sorry.

GERARD GALLANT: And then the other one, obviously, the play they always do, and he shot it, and went through the five holes.

- Center left, Andrew.

- Yeah, I know he came back and completed the game yesterday. Any concerns going forward with Barclay Goodrow, whether he reaggravated anything? And--

GERARD GALLANT: Well, he blocked that shot, obviously, and it hurt a little bit, but Barclay is a competitor. He comes back and plays, and that's what he does.

- So no concerns--

GERARD GALLANT: Well, there's always concerns. But you know, tomorrow we'll be feel a lot better about it. I mean, guys on both teams are hurt at this time of the year and they find a way to play.

- Let's take a few more here. Center right, Ethan.

- Mika and Chris obviously both scored on the power play, but I'm wondering what you thought of that line at five on five yesterday?

GERARD GALLANT: They're like the rest of our team, got to be a little better, a little better.

- Is there anything specifically you--

GERARD GALLANT: A little better.

[LAUGHTER]

- OK, fair enough.

- Back left, Billy.

- I was going to ask you a little bit about this Mika, but the match up, seeing Cirelli, it was much harder here for Tampa with their lineup. What did you think about that? How much did that impact your team's performance at five on five?

GERARD GALLANT: I-- honestly, I think they matched up a little bit with Cirelli, obviously, with that line. I don't think it made a big difference in the game. I just think they were ready to compete a little harder than we were and that was the difference in the hockey game.

You can say matchups. You can say different stuff. But overall, I think their compete level was a little bit higher than us, and we got to match that tomorrow or get above it. So they had a-- they came out and they were hungry team, and it showed.

- Back right.

- Gerard, it seemed a big part of their game plan was to be right in Shesterkin's space, and drew a couple penalties actually as well. But you know, what concern level do you have with the fact that--

GERARD GALLANT: Well, I get no concerns when you do it, you know, get in those areas. But the only concern I had out of the whole thing was when Kucherov come behind him and stuck him in the back of the knee. I didn't like that. The other plays are hockey plays.

They happen. We ran into their goalie once. Got a penalty with Vatrano, but I don't like the dirt behind the play like that.

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