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Rangers' Miller excited about opportunity in Game 4

Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 5:34 PM

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

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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).

Miller has appeared in three games this postseason and has two assists. He had six points on three goals and three assists in 30 regular season games.

"We're definitely going to use him [Sunday] and hopefully he'll be good for us," Vigneault said of Miller.

Miller skated on the fourth line with center Brian Boyle and right wing Derek Dorsett in practice on Saturday at MSG.

"[Boyle and Dorsett] play so hard and they're so responsible and every time they get a chance it seems like they're putting pressure on their D, so that fits into my game," Miller said. "I just have to try to make sure I am hitting people, mixing it up. But they can also make plays when they're in the offensive zone so I think we'll have good chemistry if we play together. We'll see what happens."

Describing Miller's play as "alright" in the games he's played in the playoffs, Vigneault praised his skill set, shot and willingness to go hard to the net.

Vigneault also indicated that he has seen growth in Miller throughout the playoffs.

"He's been focused and he's been working very hard," Vigneault said. "If you want to call that better maturity, yes. I would say it's just part of the process of a young player as he's trying to become a good pro."

Rangers forward Chris Kreider did not practice Saturday, but the team said it was a "maintenance day" and Kreider is expected to play in Game 4. Jesper Fast was in his spot when the Rangers did line rushes.

Here are the projected lineups for Game 4:

CANADIENS

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Rene BourqueLars EllerThomas Vanek

Michael BournivalDaniel BriereDale Weise

Josh GorgesP.K. Subban

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Francis BouillonMike Weaver

Dustin Tokarski

Peter Budaj

Injured: Carey Price (knee)

Scratched: Brandon Prust (suspended), Travis Moen, George Parros, Ryan White, Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Douglas Murray

RANGERS

Chris Kreider - Dominic Moore - Rick Nash

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

J.T. Miller - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Injured: Derek Stepan (jaw)

Scratched: Daniel Carcillo (suspended), Jesper Fast, Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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