The Garden was shaking during Game 1 whenThe Rangers have won a franchise-record seven straight playoff games at MSG.
“The fans have been incredible and every game it’s even louder and noisier. Our fans have been outstanding for us. Our guys are real comfortable playing in this building. We played real good hockey in this building all season long, and we just keep striving. The bigger the game gets, the bigger the team gets,” Rangers Head Coach Gerard Gallant said.
Don’t be fooled. Despite the lopsided score, the Rangers need to be aware of this experienced Lightning squad. Tampa Bay has won their last 17 playoff games following a loss. They’re experts at fighting back.
“It’s an impressive stat. That’s what you need to do to have good runs in the playoffs, is not multiple losses. And they’ve done that for a long time now. But knowing that stat, knowing that they’re gonna come out ready to go, we have to bring our A-game,” Justin Braun said.
“Doesn’t matter to me. It really doesn’t. They didn’t beat us 17 times, they beat other teams. So we just gotta get ready to play out game and go play,” Gallant said.
This is also a position the Rangers aren’t used to during this playoff run. They’re actually leading a series for the first time after they trailed 3-1 in Round 1 and 2-0 and 3-2 in Round 2.
“It’s different playing with the lead but, it’s our first lead. It’s good to have it. I try to keep playing the same way, and keep playing like we played in Game 1,” Alexis Lafrenière said.
“You gotta have the same mindset. Backs against the wall, up, down. Every game is important. You gotta come out with same mindset that this is the night you need to get it done,” Braun said.