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Carcillo could make Rangers playoff debut in Game 3

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / Rangers-Flyers series blog

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Rangers-Flyers series blog
Carcillo could make Rangers playoff debut in Game 3

PHILADELPHIA -- Though New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis was grateful to receive the news of his nomination for the Lady Byng Trophy, his focus was clearly on the Philadelphia Flyers and Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, MSG, CSN-PH).

"It's always an honor to be nominated for any award, but I think my focus is on something bigger and better right now," St. Louis said. "I think our effort and desperation need to be higher [on Tuesday]. We know that so we'll bring it."

The best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied 1-1.

Though Rangers coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't reveal his lineup for Game 3, there is a chance former Flyer Daniel Carcillo could make his debut in the series.

"They've got plans and we have an idea what we want to do," Vigneault said.

Every player for the Rangers participated in practice with the exception of forward Chris Kreider (left hand injury, out indefinitely). If Carcillo is inserted into the lineup, he would likely replace forward Jesper Fast.

During the Rangers' practice at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, Carcillo was spotted talking to Vigneault and forward Brad Richards on more than a few occasions.

"He brings energy to the team," Vigneault said of Carcillo. "He's a hard, smart player. He goes to the tough areas and when he has an opportunity to lay a good physical hit, he does that. With him in our lineup this year we've had a very good record."

The Rangers are 19-9-3 with Carcillo in the lineup this season. Carcillo, who has three goals, a plus-1 rating and 27 penalty minutes in five career games against the Flyers, would welcome the opportunity to play.

"This is the time it becomes a man's game and it gets a little rougher, and that's been the way I've played throughout my whole career," Carcillo said. "It would be nice to be in, but I don't know what the deal is.

"There's always a good atmosphere [in Philadelphia]; always has and always will be in playoffs. Especially with the attitude of this team and the way they play here. They will come out pretty hard in the beginning, so we'll have to be on our toes."

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said, "The only matchup that matters is our will against their will."

Richards expects the Flyers to open the game on an emotional high after coming off a 4-2 victory in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden.

"We've got to expect a storm to start the game; they're going to come and it'll be loud, it'll be fun, but you have to weather it," Richards said. "If you look around the League and the games [on Monday], the home teams came out so strong, it was loud. But the team that stayed even keel got through it. Eventually you have to play hockey and get back to that level of battle and intensity."

Richards, who teamed with St. Louis with the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in his career, was happy when told his teammate was again nominated as one of three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy.

"He's been there a bunch and that's kind of his staple, going to that award show for that award, so good for him," Richards said.

The winner will be announced during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on June 24.

Here are the projected lineups:

RANGERS

Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Daniel Carcillo

Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Dominic Moore - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Jesper Fast, Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz, Ryan Haggerty, J.T. Miller

Injured: Chris Kreider (hand)

FLYERS

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds

Jason Akeson - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Zac Rinaldo - Michael Raffl - Adam Hall

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn

Mark Streit - Nicklas Grossmann

Andrew MacDonald - Luke Schenn

Ray Emery

Calvin Heeter

Scratched: Jay Rosehill, Chris VandeVelde, Tye McGinn, Hal Gill, Erik Gustafsson

Injured: Steve Mason (upper body), Steve Downie (upper body)

Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season