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May 15, 2018

Gerard Gallant

Las Vegas, Nevada: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first five minutes of the game, Winnipeg had a lot of chances, transition. You were able to slow down that part of the game.
GERARD GALLANT: I thought we played a more competitive game. That was a big part of it for us the other night. Like you said, I think the first five or six minutes, we had three or four real good chances. Thought we had a couple chances in the same time.

Overall I thought our forecheck was much better. I thought we competed better. That was the difference for me.

Q. Throughout the season we talked about games that you guys need to win. It felt like you said it, every time you need to win a game, you get it. Why aren't they all must-win games in the playoffs?
GERARD GALLANT: Well, we come in every game trying to win the hockey game. We're not going to win, what, we played 90 some games right now?

Believe me, we don't throw any games. The first game, Winnipeg came out and they played great hockey. They got off to a 3-0 lead on us. We battled back. The game at the end of the night was 4-2. I thought we played real good in the second and third periods.

We try and win every game. Every game is a not a must-win, but every game we were trying to win, trust me. I don't like losing hockey games.

Q. Any difference in the must-win games?
GERARD GALLANT: Nothing for me, no, no. I think, like I said, the difference in the two games to me was our commitment level to winning one-on-one battles, playing a faster game. We played a better game last night.

Q. What is (indiscernible) status?
GERARD GALLANT: He's day-to-day. He's not feeling well.

Q. Can you touch on the improvement from the fourth line from Game 1 to Game 2?
GERARD GALLANT: I thought they did a good job both games. They competed. They played hard. Do what I ask them to do every night. They had a real good game last night. When they're good, they usually forecheck, possess the puck in the offensive zone. I thought they did a good job last night.

Q. On TV Nate Schmidt was getting a lot of compliments by the announcers. What did you see out there?
GERARD GALLANT: Nate played two excellent games on the road. It doesn't surprise me. We take Nate for granted sometimes because he does the job every night for us. He does a real good job.

Him and his partner Nabber do a good job of shutting down top lines as best they can. They work hard. They compete hard. They do a great job for us.

The way Nate distributes the puck, the way Nate skates is a strong point for him.

Q. You made some line changes in these playoffs and it paid off. Is it something you've seen in practice? Is it a gut instinct that morning the game that you're just going with it?
GERARD GALLANT: It's usually done before the morning of the game, to be honest with you, we make our decision. No, all those things you just said, that's what it is. It's a combination of all those things.

Our guys work hard in practice when they're not playing. You know, coaches notice that. Then when somebody's not playing up to their par, sometimes we got to make little lineup adjustments. Usually do that after a loss.

Most of the time this season so far it's worked for us. We're not going to change things. Our guys work hard, compete hard. Whoever is in the lineup is going to play hard.

Q. Both your forwards did a really good job last night of picking off passes. Was that you guys were on your game, gaps were tight?
GERARD GALLANT: Yeah, definitely. I mean, again, I go back about it. I thought we were quicker and we were faster and we were more competitive. When you do that, you limit the other team's time and space.

When any team at this level has a chance to make plays with time, they're going to make the right plays. If you're putting pressure on them, everybody's going to make mistakes in games. That's what happened.

I thought we had a lot more pressure last night than we did in Game 1.

Q. Is there something different about this team versus other teams you've been around in terms of their ability to put the last game behind them and go on to the next?
GERARD GALLANT: Well, I think our organization, we preach that all year long. Didn't just start in the playoffs. It started from day one. I mention it to you guys every time I'm in here. It's not about what we did the last night, last game, it's about what's going to happen in the next game. We forget about the last game whether it was a good one or a bad one. You move on, get ready to play the next one.

Q. If it's not done yet, what is it going to take to get it done?
GERARD GALLANT: I don't think we're here to prove people wrong. I think people know we're a good hockey team. I mean, we proved that over the regular season. I mean, is there a lot of doubters? Yeah, I doubted it in October. I didn't know where we were going to be. We talked about competing and battling hard and trying to win two points every night. That was our goal.

Then all of a sudden come All-Star break, we're in first place, and our team's playing well. So there's a lot of confidence in the group.

But I'm not here to try and prove people wrong. I'm here to try and win games, go as far as we can. We know we're a good hockey team. We don't worry about what people write or what people say. I mean, I think a lot of people know we're a good hockey team.

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