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June 5, 2018

Gerard Gallant

Las Vegas, Nevada: Practice Day

DAVID KEON: Good morning, I'm David Keon. I'd like to welcome you to the conference call. We have Gerard Gallant of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Thank you for taking the time to join us.

Q. Good morning, Gerard. Thanks for doing this. You mentioned last night -- were not on Marc-Andre Fleury. What would you like to see your team do in front of him to make his life easier?
GERARD GALLANT: A lot of those goals were east-west passes. They made some real good passes. A couple on the power play was back door plays. We've got to cover the guy without the puck. They basically had passes -- like I said, there was a couple of passes by Backstrom that were unbelievable passes. You've got to give your goalie a chance to make those saves. On those plays, there was no chance for him to make those saves.

Q. Are there any adjustments you can make, even just at even-strength to try to take away those opportunities?
GERARD GALLANT: Sure, play better defensively. There's too many guys staring at the puck carrier, and we're leaving the back side open too much. Make sure we're paying attention to the guys behind the puck and away from the puck. Marc will make the save on the guy shooting the puck. We've just got to make sure we're taking away the passes.

Q. Good morning, Coach. In a game that you and the players thought might have been one of the better ones you played in the Cup Final and considering the amount of breaks that maybe didn't go your way, does part of your confidence going into Game 5 stem from the belief that you might be due for some to finally go your way?
GERARD GALLANT: Yeah, I really believe that. Like I said, I thought last night's game we played real hard, we played real well. Probably with a couple of breaks, we could have been up 2-0 early in that first period. Again, I think we have to work hard and play the way we played last night to maybe get some of those breaks.

That was a step in the right direction last night. Hopefully, we can start the next game off in our building and be ready to go again.

Q. Last night you guys, it seemed like all the shots you had on goal weren't going in. Typical like one of those hockey games where you have all the good shots but it seems like you couldn't get it in the net because Holtby was blocking everything. Is that something you have to work on to get that hole in or was it just typical like hockey?
GERARD GALLANT: We went out and did what we wanted to do. We wanted to have a great start to the hockey game. First ten minutes, I thought we played well. We hit two goal posts. Holtby made a couple of good saves. We missed an open net. That's hockey. I don't know what to tell you. We came out and accomplished what we tried to do. The only thing we didn't do was put the puck in the net, which is the important thing. I can't tell our guys we're not playing well. We played really well the first ten minutes.

After that, unfortunately, we got a penalty, and they scored right away, and we were chasing the game again.

Q. What do you guys got to do to force Game 6 back in D.C.? What do you guys have to do Thursday night?
GERARD GALLANT: I think we've got to come out and start the way we started last night. We've got to be ready to play. We're going to play in our building. The pressure's off us. We're going to work hard and have some fun. We'll see what happens.

Q. Coach, throughout this season, for obvious reasons, you guys have been considered a pretty big underdog, but the Capitals sort of have that sense around them for different reasons, given their recent history. Has this felt to you like it's a series of two underdogs? With your backs against the walls here, is there a way for you guys to channel that kind of energy again, or is that something you feel you need to do?
GERARD GALLANT: Yeah, no, I mean, let's face it. We started the season, and there was no expectation for our hockey club. Did the expectations change going into the playoffs? Sure they did because we had a great regular season and won the Pacific Division. Again, it was about coming to play and enjoying our time and working hard and giving ourselves a chance to win.

That's all we've done all season long. Washington's had an outstanding season. When the season started, they said they probably missed the boat the last few years without winning a championship. It took a lot of pressure off that team. They came out and played an outstanding season. They played unbelievable hockey in the playoffs. I wouldn't say that they're sort of an underdog role. You look at their team, and they've got a pretty good hockey team over there. It's a little different scenario than ours. Again, they're playing well. They're working hard, and they're doing all the right things to win.

Q. Bigger picture question. In regards to your first line, is it a combination of what Washington is doing or what they aren't doing? How do you assess that?
GERARD GALLANT: Well, I think it's a combination of both. Really, I like their first line last night for the most part. They came out and started the game the way we wanted to start the game. A couple of unfortunate bounces, and we're down 3-0. Our guys are playing hard, they're playing well, and they'll be ready to go.

Like I said, Washington is a good hockey team. Their top line is a pretty tough line that's playing against them every night too. So it's a battle for ice out there, and we're trying to do the best we can. Hopefully a couple of breaks and the goal by Reilly Smith last night will get us going.

Q. Thank you, Gerard. I know that you don't speak to players after games unless you change your attitudes. What's the plan today? Do you leave them alone? Do you talk to them? Are you only traveling and regrouping tomorrow? What's your plan to bring the team back together?
GERARD GALLANT: No, we're traveling today. We're going to travel today, and we'll get together for practice the next morning after that, and we'll get ready to go from there. Like I said, there's not a whole lot we have to say right now. I thought we came out last night the way we wanted to come out. There's really good parts to our game. Obviously, the three power play goals against us really hurt us. I thought we battled back in the hockey game and got to 4-2. That fifth goal, which nobody liked, thought there should be a penalty against them on the fifth goal. They scored again and win the hockey game.

So it was the momentum. Again, it was a complete finish. We only gave up 23 shots, but we've got to be better than that. If we give them too many grade A scoring chances, we've got to play better defensively. Like I said, we took a step in the right direction with the work ethic and with the offense last night.

DAVID KEON: Thanks very much, Gerard, for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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