Rangers center Ryan Strome tries to stuff the puck under Tampa...

Rangers center Ryan Strome tries to stuff the puck under Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on June 5, 2022, in Tampa. Credit: AP/Chris O'Meara

TAMPA, Fla. — Rangers coach Gerard Gallant seemed pretty confident that center Ryan Strome, who left Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday, will be available to play in Game 4 Tuesday, but Gallant seemed a little more evasive when talking about center Barclay Goodrow, who also left the game briefly in the third period, but was able to return.

“[Strome] should be fine tomorrow,’’ Gallant said after the Rangers’ practice at Amalie Arena. “We'll see tomorrow, but he should be fine to go.’’

Strome appeared to be injured when he took a cross-check in the back from Ondrej Palat in the second period of the 3-2 loss. The cross-check – which wasn’t called a penalty – didn’t seem particularly severe, but Strome’s right knee appeared to hyperextend, and he left the ice in pain. He returned later, and played two shifts in the third period, but then left the game.

Goodrow was hurt when he blocked a shot from defenseman Victor Hedman while the Rangers were killing a penalty in the third period. He had missed 11 games after blocking a shot in Game 1 of the Rangers’ first-round series against Pittsburgh but returned for Game 6 of the second-round series against Carolina.

“He blocked that shot [by Hedman] obviously, and that hurt a little bit,’’ Gallant said. “But Barclay's a competitor. He comes back and plays, and that's what he does.’’

Asked if that meant he had no concerns about Goodrow’s availability for Game 4, Gallant said, “Well, there's always concerns. But, you know, tomorrow we'll be feeling a lot better about it. I mean, guys on both teams are hurt at this time of the year, and they find a way to play.’’

Gallant still upset with Shesterkin getting hit

Gallant was still unhappy about the way the Lightning were crashing the net against goaltender Igor Shesterkin Sunday. Tampa Bay had several run-ins with Shesterkin, two of which resulted in penalties. On Sunday, Gallant said he hoped the NHL would do something about it.

“I’ve got no concerns when you … get in those [net front] areas,’’ he said after Monday’s practice. “But the only concern I've had out of the whole thing was when [Nikita] Kucherov came behind him and stuck him in the back of the knee [with his stick]. I didn't like that. The other plays are hockey plays. They happen. you know we ran into their goalie once, got a penalty with [Frank] Vatrano, but I don't like the dirt behind a play like that.’’

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