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Category: Injuries

Gross: Brassard not taking line rushes

Per Andrew Gross, injured center Derick Brassard was on the ice for practice, but was not taking line rushes. Dominic Moore resumed his role as third line center with Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello. Brian Boyle was between Dan Carcillo and Derek Dorsett.

Carey Price done for the series

Per the Montreal Canadiens, goaltender Carey Price is done for the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals. Price was hurt when Chris Kreider collided with him in the second period of Game One. Price finished the period, but did not play in the third. Price practiced just five minutes yesterday, leading to this announcement today.

Peter Budaj or Dustin Tokarski will start for the Canadiens going forward.

Kreider at morning skate

Per the team’s Twitter, Chris Kreider is at the morning skate, and is not wearing a non-contact jersey. All signs point to the winger returning to the lineup tonight, and at a very critical time for the Rangers.

Alain Vigneault has noted that Kreider is medically cleared to play, but is unsure if he will dress tonight.

Chris Kreider appears to be nearing a return, and boy do the Rangers need him

In case you forgot, Chris Kreider has had success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs before

Though coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t say it outright, it sure sounds like winger Chris Kreider is getting very close to returning to the Rangers’ lineup.

Kreider has missed the team’s last 19 games with an undisclosed left hand injury and would be a major addition to New York’s suddenly offensively-starved lineup.

Vigneault has been married to his unofficial top line – Benoit Pouliot/Derick Brassard/Mats Zuccarello – and his outstanding fourth line – Brian Boyle/Dominic Moore/Derek Dorsett – for most of the second half, but he’s had a devil of a time finding the right combination with Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash and Derek Stepan. Even when Kreider was healthy, chemistry wasn’t automatic, but at least Vigneault had a complete set of top-six forwards (in theory) to choose from. It’s a lot easier to mix and match that way then when a fourth liner like Danny Carcillo is being asked to skate with key offensive players.

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Steve Mason won’t play in Game Three

Per Sarah Baicker, Flyers goalie Steve Mason will not be dressing for Game Three. Mason has missed the first two games of the series, in which Ray Emery started. Emery is sporting a .913 SV% in the two starts this series.

Zipay: Kreider may be ready for second round

Per Steve Zipay, injured winger Chris Kreider will likely miss the first round of the playoffs, but should be ready for the second round should the Rangers advance:

Chris Kreider (surgery on left hand March 28) is progressing and the 17-goal scorer should be ready if the Rangers advance to the second round.

This means that the Rangers will need to dress Jesper Fast (or Dan Carcillo) for the entirety of the first round.

Injury/Lineup updates: McDonagh 100%; Vets getting rest

Per Andrew Gross, injured defenseman Ryan McDonagh has confirmed that he is 100%, and will return for the playoffs. McDonagh has been out since April 1, after taking a “questionable” hit from Vancouver’s Alex Burrows late in the third period. Although he is 100%, he will not be playing tonight in Montreal.

In addition to McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Martin St. Louis, and Henrik Lundqvist will also be out of the lineup tonight to get some much deserved and/or needed rest. For Girardi, this will be just the fifth (!!!) game he has missed in his entire NHL career (two last season, two in 2010-2011).

People may not agree with Alain Vigneault here, but the game tonight is meaningless. There’s no point in ruining Hank’s confidence (he has a better shot at being president of the US than winning in Montreal it seems); it’s a good idea to give Girardi some time to order some new robot parts for his body; and it’s probably a good idea to get MSL out of his own head.

Injury notes: Kreider, McDonagh skating

Per Andrew Gross, both Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider were skating today at the Rangers optional skate. Neither did intensive work, with McDonagh doing some light skating and Kreider gripping his stick with one hand, but it’s a good sign to see them skating. Alain Vigneault did not give a timetable for either’s return, but did mention he is unsure if he wants McDonagh to return before the playoffs. Naturally, Kreider needs to grip a stick with two hands before he returns.

There’s no need to rush either guy. There’s a week before the playoffs start, let them get that extra week.

Chris Kreider’s injury causing depth issues

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

When Chris Kreider went down with his hand injury last month, the Rangers needed to scramble to find options to fill his spot in the top-nine (AV uses his top-nine for scoring, and his fourth line for defense). After all, the Rangers were losing one of their fastest skaters, one of their more potent offensive weapons, and a guy who was likely to put up his first 20-goal, 40-point season while playing alongside Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. These aren’t easy shoes to fill.

J.T. Miller was immediately recalled and slotted into the lineup, but his play without the puck left a lot to be desired. After a game and a half, he was scratched for two games then sent back to Hartford with a message. Miller likely won’t be back until the Wolf Pack season ends (as a healthy scratch/injury replacement). Dan Carcillo has been filling in for Kreider admirably, but he’s no top-nine forward.

Naturally, this is a problem for the Rangers as they head into a first round date with the Flyers.

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McDonagh out and day to day, Moore in tonight

Per Andrew Gross, defenseman Ryan McDonagh is out tonight and is day-to-day after being on the receiving end of a questionable hit –that received no supplemental discipline– from Alex Burrows. John Moore, who has been out since March 21, will take McDonagh’s spot in the lineup.