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Tortorella holds scrum with media Sunday

by Dan Rosen

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After addressing the media for all of 27 seconds and using only 15 words after losing 3-2 in Game 4 Saturday, Rangers coach John Tortorella was a bit more chatty Sunday at the team's suburban training facility.

Tortorella spoke to the media for more than five minutes and handled 11 questions.

He talked about trying to get pucks through to the net against the Capitals, who have blocked 105 shots through the first four games of the Eastern Conference Semifinal-round series. He discussed Chris Kreider's lack of ice time in the third period Saturday. He also gave a bit of feedback on the play of Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin.

Here is the full transcript of Tortorella's chat with the media Sunday:

There has been a lot of talk about them blocking shots. How do you get around that?

"There are all different types of situations that occur during a game. There's a lot of different things you can do, it depends on what is in front of you. We had the puck a lot (Saturday), but as far as getting good, quality scoring chances, I don't think we developed enough."

What part of the learning process was (Game 4) for Chris Kreider?

"For all our kids there are going to be bumps in the road. His are more magnified because it's right in the middle of the playoffs. But, I have full confidence that he's going to be able to handle that, learn from a couple of mistakes, and be better for it. He's got a good head on his shoulders."

When you're facing a team that does things similar to what you do, is there an advantage to figuring out how to get around what they're trying to do?


Capitals even series with 3-2 win

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"It doesn't have to come to how we play. We've just gotta figure out how to get more pucks in the blue, try to find a way to get some shots through, and there are a lot of different ways that you try to do that -- it depends on the situation. But as far as relating it to how we play, no. We're just going to try to do a better job of that part of it. I thought that was part of the weakest part of our game, not finishing up plays. There were certain times we had chances to make plays and we didn't; they did. That's what it comes down to. A big offensive play, a big defensive play, and (when) you end up in these games, that's what determines maybe winning and losing."

They're getting a lot of credit for blocking shots, right around 26 a game, but are you shooting it into their pads too much?

"At times. I can't blanket that. I'm not going to have a blanket statement that way. There are times when you can do something else. It's a matter of seeing the ice. But, hopefully we'll get better at it tomorrow."

Was their penalty kill any more aggressive yesterday than in previous games?


Was it your mishandling of the puck?

"Some of it was, yeah. It's what we expected it to be."

With Kreider in the third in Game 5, was it just that he wasn't giving you what you wanted or were there other guys playing better?

"There were some struggles away from the puck with him. Sometimes it's good to watch. We'll see where we go with it next game."

Did you like the way Anisimov bounced back?

"Yeah, he played good. He did a lot of good things away from the puck and created some offense. It was a good game for him."

You guys finished first in the conference probably because you had the most consistent work ethic of any team. Now you went seven games with the eight seed and you're 2-2 with the seven seed. Is this what you expect to see, the other team raising its level to match yours?

"Absolutely. I said at the beginning of the playoffs, you throw the seeds out. It's not about numbers when playoffs start. If you're one of those eight teams in your conference playing you're a good hockey club. We're going to go about our business. We didn't expect anything different. Do you want to try to win two in a row to go up 3-1, sure every team wants to do that. But it's just the way it is. This is a very tight series, and we'll continue to play."

Has Hagelin been as effective as you need him to be?

"Yeah, he's been on pucks. You hope he scores a goal. You hope he makes a good pass to help score a goal. I don't think that's happened, but as far as his forechecking and creating puck possession for us, he's done a good job of that."

Each playoff series takes on its own personality, whatever that is. Do you feel there is a definite personality for this series and is there enough hatred for the opponent now?

"Well, I'm not going to speak on that now here in front of you guys. All I know is this is how playoffs are. It changes on a play. Momentum swings, good goaltending -- it's been a really good series and now we go to the last three, starting with tomorrow, one in our building. That's what we're concentrating on, trying to win that one game in our building."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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