NHL

'I wish we got one of these two games' – Rangers coach Gallant rues missed opportunities

By Sports Desk May 21, 2022

New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant feels like there was not much more his side could do after falling down 2-0 in their series, losing both of the Carolina Hurricanes' home fixtures.

After leading until the final moments of Game 1, before the Hurricanes forced overtime and snuck away with a 2-1 win, it was another defensive struggle in Game 2, which suited the Hurricanes as they took it 2-0.

The breakthrough came from Brendan Smith in the second period, and that would be the only goal of the game until the Rangers pulled their goalie out of desperation in the final seconds.

Speaking to post-game media, Gallant said it was a true playoff hockey game, but despite only scoring one goal in two games, he feels his side played well once again.

"It was a good hockey game – low shots, a battle by both teams," he said. "It could've went either way again.

"It's tough – we came into this building earlier in the season twice and got dominated, [Carolina had] 50 shots I think.

"But we came in here, we played good defensive hockey, we battled hard. We only got one goal [across the two away games], that's the disappointing part of it, but we played a good hockey team, and played good hockey.

"We fell short a little bit – what are you going to do. Just get ready for the two home games coming up."

Gallant pushed back on the notion that his side is "disjointed" offensively, saying this is just what it looks like when the two best defensive teams in the league meet head-to-head.

"I wouldn't say [we are disjointed offensively] – I would say it's a case of two teams not giving up anything," he said.

"They're first in the league [defensively] and we're second in the league, but the disappointment is that we didn't take care of our power plays tonight. 

"Overall it's a top team, and it was a battle of a game. They're a good team – the best defensive team in the league.

"I'm happy with the way we've performed overall. I wish we would've got one of these two games – we probably could've – but that's the way it goes."

Goal-scorer Smith said everyone knows what kind of game it is going to be between these two sides, but he feels it favours Carolina.

“I think if we just stick to our style, it's eventually going to wear on teams and we're going to find a way to win,” he said.

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