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.
Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have inserted Jesper Fast into the lineup on a line with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin. This means Derek Stepan will be skating with Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. The third and fourth lines will remain the same, with Dan Carcillo likely serving as the healthy scratch tonight. The full lines:
The defense pairings will be the same, and Henrik Lundvist will get the start in net.
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.
After last night’s debacle in Calgary, Alain Vigneault has decided to switch up his lines. Per Steve Zipay, the new lines are:
Dan Carcillo-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett
If you are perplexed about Carcillo on the top line, you should know that you are not alone. J.T. Miller was skating with the extra forwards.
Per Steve Zipay, Martin St. Louis will replace the injured Chris Kreider on the Rangers’ top line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash tonight against Philly. Zipay also noted that this likely means the recently recalled J.T. Miller will slide into the Derick Brassard line.
Dan Carcillo is a scratch as well tonight, as he has the flu.
Raphael Diaz, acquired from the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline, will make his Rangers debut tonight in New Jersey. Diaz will take John Moore’s spot in the lineup, as Moore did not return after taking a big hit in the first period of last night’s victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It is expected that Diaz will be on a pairing with Kevin Klein.
While we were gone for the server upgrade, Alain Vigneault switched up his lines a bit. He moved Chris Kreider to the second line with Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, and moved Carl Hagelin to the top line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. This essentially gives the Rangers two top lines (1 and 1a, as you can’t really call either one a “second” line). It’s something we had been wanting for a while ’round these parts, as the Richards/MSL combo needed a finisher and net presence (Kreider), and the Stepan/Nash combo needed someone to drive puck possession a bit more effectively (Hagelin).
Naturally those lines didn’t score last night, but the lines are probably going to get another look tonight in Winnipeg. I’d like to see Raphael Diaz get a go over the severely struggling Anton Stralman, but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen.
Per Pat Leonard, Derek Dorsett will be taking Dan Carcillo’s spot in the lineup tonight against Carolina. Dorsett’s last game was March 5th against Toronto. This move might make some people angry considering Carcillo’s strong play with the Rangers, but Dorsett is the more balanced player. His ability to take shifts in the defensive zone late in the game –not to mention his ability to kill penalties– makes him a more valuable asset on the ice. It was really just a matter of time before Dorsett took over Carcillo’s spot full time.
Per Andrew Gross, Justin Falk and the newly acquired Dan Carcillo will be the healthy scratches tonight when the Rangers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Michael Del Zotto and J.T. Miller will be in the lineup. Henrik Lundqvist will start (as expected).
Starting Del Zotto over Falk is a no-brainer at this point, although few will agree. Miller over Carcillo is also a no-brainer, as Carcillo needs to adjust to the new systems before he is a useful cog on what is a defensive shutdown line.