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.
Vanek joined Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust on the fourth line in warm-ups. Vanek used to play with Briere when they were teammates with the Buffalo Sabres.
The domino effect of Vanek's demotion is that Dale Weise moved up from the fourth line to the third, and Brian Gionta was bumped to the second line to play with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk.
Montreal's first line of Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher stayed intact.
Rangers center Derick Brassard did not make it into the lineup for the second straight game; he took part in the morning skate. Daniel Carcillo is in the lineup and playing on the fourth line for the second straight game.
Brassard played two shifts totaling 35 seconds in Game 1. He didn't play after taking an open-ice hit from Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver 3:03 into the first period.
Here are the lineups for Game 3 based on warm-ups:
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Dale Weise
Brandon Prust - Daniel Briere - Thomas Vanek
Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin
Nathan Beaulieu - Mike Weaver
Scratched: Douglas Murray, George Parros, Jarred Tinordi, Travis Moen, Michael Bournival, Ryan White, Francis Bouillon
Injured: Carey Price (knee)
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot - Dominic Moore - Mats Zuccarello
Daniel Carcillo - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
John Moore - Kevin Klein
Scratched: Raphael Diaz, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Justin Falk
Injured: Derick Brassard (upper body)