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Posted On Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 7:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Stepan in Rangers lineup for Game 5

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is in the lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at Bell Centre after missing Game 4 following surgery to repair his broken jaw.

Stepan is wearing a plastic guard on his helmet to protect his jaw. He took line rushes with his usual linemates, Chris Kreider and Rick Nash, during warm-ups.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin did not participate in warm-ups and is not in the lineup for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nathan Beaulieu took Emelin's place.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.25.2014 / 7:56 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Brassard returns to Rangers lineup for Game 4

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are making lineup changes for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Some are by choice; others are due to an injury and two suspensions.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Rangers center Derick Brassard is in the lineup after missing the past two games and most of Game 1 with an upper-body injury. He skated in between his usual linemates, Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello, during warmups.

Brassard has seven points in 15 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was injured early in Game 1 on a hit by Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver. Brassard played two shifts totaling 35 seconds in Game 1.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 7:19 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Fallout from Prust incident continues for Rangers

NEW YORK -- One day after suspensions and surgery became the most discussed topics in the Eastern Conference Final, the New York Rangers were still trying to come to grips with losing one of their top centers for an indefinite period of time and another teammate for what could be the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Rangers center Derek Stepan had surgery Friday night to repair his broken jaw, an injury sustained 2:45 into the first period of Game 3 on Thursday as a result of an illegal check from Brandon Prust, the Montreal Canadiens forward.

Prust was not penalized by the on-ice officials, but on Friday he was suspended two games for interference by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it's "unlikely" Stepan will play in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series, 2-1.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 5:34 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Miller excited about opportunity in Game 4

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller has already experienced the Stanley Cup Playoffs this month, playing in Game 3 of the second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's not sure how that experience will help him if he plays Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens.

"If I'm in, it's obviously Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, and I never played on a stage like this," Miller said. "I have to make sure I calm my nerves if I get the chance, make sure I'm just ready to play and try to take it like a normal game even though it's such a higher stage."

With Rangers coach Alain Vigneault saying it's "unlikely" that Derek Stepan will be in the lineup after having surgery on Friday to repair a broken jaw, Miller is expected to play in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Friday, 05.23.2014 / 4:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers figuring out Canadiens' Tokarski as they go

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin paused for a few seconds after he was asked if Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski has surprised him and his teammates in any way in the Eastern Conference Final.

"Not really," he said.

Interesting, considering the Rangers had not faced Tokarski this season before Game 2. Tokarski played three NHL games this season and had 10 regular-season games on his resume before making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut on Monday at Bell Centre.

"We knew who he was before, just never played against him," Hagelin said. "But he's been good at every level he's played at. We know any goalie in this League is going to be a good goalie."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 8:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Vanek on fourth line for Canadiens in Game 3

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek was demoted to the fourth line at the beginning of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series 2-0.

Vanek has five goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but scored them in three games. He has no points and one shot on goal in two games against the Rangers. He has no points and two shots on goal in his past three games.


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Posted On Monday, 05.19.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Kreider pays no mind to Canadiens' remarks

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider has one regret about the play that knocked Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price out of the Eastern Conference Final.

"I wish I would've put it in the net," Kreider said. "Obviously I was trying to score a goal. I put it wide. It was a bang-bang play."

Kreider instead lost his footing and crashed feet-first into Price at 3:15 of the second period in Game 1 on Saturday. Price was slow to get up and was in obvious pain, but after consulting with the Canadiens trainer he stayed in the game.

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Posted On Monday, 05.19.2014 / 1:45 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Brassard skates, status uncertain for Game 2

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard participated in the morning skate Monday at Bell Centre but did not take any line rushes and coach Alain Vigneault said his status remains day-to-day.

Brassard was injured early in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Saturday after being hit hard in open ice by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver. He played two shifts totaling 35 seconds and did not return to the game after leaving 3:06 into the first period.

It's unclear if Brassard will be available for Game 2 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.

"As far as lineup decisions, I haven't finalized that," Vigneault said. "It's like any other game, you'll find out [Monday] at 8 o'clock when the puck drops."

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Posted On Monday, 05.19.2014 / 1:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers' sole focus is their game plan

MONTREAL -- The news of Carey Price's injury and that Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said the goalie won't play again in the Eastern Conference Final spread through the New York Rangers as they were on the ice at Bell Centre on Monday morning, going through their preparations for Game 2 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

At the end of the practice the Rangers players huddled in the corner to the right of the visiting goal as their five coaches on the ice stayed at center ice. The message was that just because Price is out doesn't mean the Rangers can change the way they play or get caught being overconfident against the Canadiens just because veteran backup Peter Budaj or untested rookie Dustin Tokarski will be in the net Monday night.

The Rangers won 7-2 in Game 1, but they are winless in their past 13 games after grabbing a lead in a best-of-7 series, including 0-4 this season. The last time they won a game after taking a lead was Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals.

New York blew a 3-1 lead in that series and lost in seven.

"In our last couple series we've won the first game and didn't take advantage of going out and winning another one, so it was about making sure that we up the ante, play a better game and focus on what we need to do," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "You've got to score goals the same way; get to the net, do all those types of things. That won't change with Price being out."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.18.2014 / 5:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers' speed a big factor in Game 1 victory

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers aren't sure if they surprised the Montreal Canadiens with their speed in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

"I can't answer to what they were expecting from us," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Even if it were true, the Canadiens won't admit that they underestimated the Rangers' speed.

"No, it's a bad game," Montreal forward Brandon Prust said.

That goes without saying when you lose 7-2, as the Canadiens did Saturday, but they lost by that margin in large part because the Rangers' overall team speed seemed to overwhelm them, if not surprise them.

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Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center