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Gallant rips Rangers' Game 4 effort: 'We were soft all over the ice'

Jared Silber / National Hockey League / Getty

New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant didn't mince words about his team's effort following a lopsided defeat in Game 4 at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Played soft, we were soft all over the ice," Gallant told reporters after the 7-2 loss. "That's the biggest difference - we were soft all over the ice."

Pittsburgh dominated every facet of Monday's game. The Pens outshot the Rangers 41-24, outhit them 54-49, won 60.4% of the faceoffs, and controlled 79.2% of the expected goals, per Natural Stat Trick. Even MoneyPuck's Deserve-to-Win-O'Meter was as one-sided as it comes.

Gallant disagreed with the notion that New York's lack of playoff experience compared to Pittsburgh's played a part in the blowout.

"I wouldn't use the word 'inexperienced,' I'd use the word(s) 'not committed to playing the right way,'" Gallant said. "We played the right way in New York, there's no reason why we can't play the right way tonight. It's not from the inexperienced guys, either. They're part of our group, but tonight you (saw) a lot of soft, bad plays by a lot of people. It was a team effort tonight."

Gallant did excuse goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who was pulled for the second time this series after allowing six goals on 30 shots after two periods. The bench boss noted there were "probably four" goals that were deflected in, and added that the Vezina Trophy favorite will be back between the pipes for Game 5.

Instead, Gallant pointed the finger at his team's collective defensive effort.

"There wasn't much commitment to playing defense tonight," Gallant said.

This isn't the first time Gallant has berated his team after a loss this year. In March, he said his team should "be embarrassed" for hanging Shesterkin out to dry after a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. In April, he called his club's performance "horseshit" after a 3-0 defeat to the New York Islanders.

The Rangers, who trail the Pens 3-1 in the series, will try to keep their season alive Wednesday.

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