Tampa Bay Lightning center Riley Nash crashes into Rangers goaltender...

Tampa Bay Lightning center Riley Nash crashes into Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 5, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. Credit: AP/Chris O'Meara

TAMPA, Fla. — Rangers coach Gerard Gallant didn’t like the way the Lightning drove the net against goaltender Igor Shesterkin on Sunday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Lightning forward Corey Perry was called for slashing Shesterkin in the second period, with Shesterkin falling over backward as his stick went flying in the air. The Rangers did score on the ensuing power play.

Later in the period, Lightning forward Riley Nash was called for goaltender interference for running into Shesterkin.

“It fazes me more than him,’’ Gallant said. “I don’t like it. I think it’s a, you know, big part of it, and hopefully when we talk to the [NHL officials] supervisor tomorrow, they’ll take care of some of that, because it wasn’t right.’’

Forward Andrew Copp said Shesterkin, who saved 48 of 51 shots, handled the pressure well.

“I guess whenever there’s a really elite goalie playing that way, I think that’s kind of the mantra from another team is trying to get in his face,’’ Copp said. “You know, try and rattle him a little bit. But it seemed like Shesty handled that really well today.’’

Strome leaves with injury

Gallant did not have a report on the status of forward Ryan Strome, who left in the third period with a lower-body injury.

Strome took a crosscheck to the back in the second period from Lightning forward Ondrej Palat. While the crosscheck itself didn’t appear to be too hard, Strome’s right knee appeared to hyperextend. He immediately left the ice in pain and headed to the locker room, dropping his stick on the ice.

“He came back for [two] shifts and he just wasn’t good enough,’’ Gallant said. “We’ll know more tomorrow. Hopefully he’s fine for the next one.’’

Strome has two goals and seven assists in the playoffs. He is the second-line center, working between Artemi Panarin and Copp, and if he is unable to play in Game 4, it would leave a big hole in the Rangers’ lineup.

“Stromer’s a big part of our team obviously,’’ Mika Zibanejad said. “We haven’t rotated 11 [forwards] that much, but by saying that, I think it’s just trying to step up and try to do that job.

“I think obviously, it’s a big loss when Stromer’s not playing, the way he’s been playing and that line has been playing. [But] you can’t do much more than just trying to fill that spot. And next man up.’’

Injury scare for Goodrow

The Rangers got another injury scare.

Forward Barclay Goodrow went down hard after blocking a shot by Victor Hedman from close range while killing a penalty in the third period. After going to the Rangers’ dressing room, he was able to return and finish the game.

Goodrow missed 11 playoff games before returning late in the second round against Carolina after suffering a broken left foot while blocking a shot in Game 1 of the first round against Pittsburgh.

“What a blocked shot after coming back from what he already went through,’’ Copp said. “The result of the game is what it is, but when you got people like that, you can always win with that. So it was good to get him back.’’  

Blue notes

Chris Kreider tied Rod Gilbert for most playoff goals in Rangers history with 34. Gilbert did it in 79 games; it took Kreider 97 games to do it.

Kreider has 12 power-play goals in the playoffs and is tied with Brian Leetch for second place in franchise history. Adam Graves has the record with 13.

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