NEW YORK -- New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider will play against the Boston Bruins on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, TVA Sports, SN, NESN, MSG) after missing the past two games with a right hand injury. Kreider had a laceration on his hand that could not be stitched because of a risk of infection.
Kreider will replace Oscar Lindberg, who will be scratched for the second time this season despite have points in each of the past two games, including a goal in New York's 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said his decision to scratch Lindberg was based on his preference to keep third-line center Kevin Hayes in the lineup, and his fourth line of center Dominic Moore, left wing Tanner Glass and right wing Viktor Stalberg together.
Hayes, who was recently scratched for two games, had a goal and an assist against Washington. Stalberg has goals in each of the past two games and in three of the past four.
"Our fourth line is getting a little bit of chemistry and Hayes I thought had two good games his last two outings, and we've got a left winger [Kreider] coming in," Vigneault said. "Oscar has played well, but I want to get [Kreider] in."
Statistically speaking, Kreider has had a disappointing season with six goals and 18 points in 39 games. Vigneault said prior to the season that he was hoping Kreider would push for 30 goals after scoring 21 last season.
Vigneault is hoping Kreider can get some momentum going for a strong second half against the Bruins, his hometown team.
"I know this past week, even though he had the hand injury, he worked a lot and he spent some time on the video with [associate coach] Scott [Arniel] to look at a couple of different things here," Vigneault said. "Just keep his game simple. If he can do that, use his attributes, use his strengths, he's a solid player. We need him to play good for us."
Vigneault thinks Hayes has been good in the two games he's played since he was scratched for two in a row because of ineffective play and questionable work ethic, according to the coach.
"He's been going to the tougher areas, that's how he scored his goal [against Washington]," Vigneault said. "He's made a couple nice plays with the puck. He's protected it better. I sense a better battle level when he has the puck and when he doesn't have it, which is good to see. Hopefully it will continue."
The Bruins are playing their third game on a five-game road trip. It's also their third game in four nights. They are 1-0-1 on the trip and coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. They also defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Friday.
"Our guys have played fairly well," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I'm not disappointed in the effort and in our approach so far in those two games."
The Bruins continue the road trip at the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday and at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Here are the projected lineups:
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Loui Eriksson
Frank Vatrano - Joonas Kemppainen - Jimmy Hayes
Landon Ferraro - Max Talbot - Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara - Zach Trotman
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Colin Miller - Dennis Seidenberg
Injured: David Krejci (upper body), Adam McQuaid (upper body), Chris Kelly (broken left femur)
Scratched: Brett Connolly, Zac Rinaldo, Joe Morrow
J.T. Miller - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Jayson Megna
Chris Kreider - Kevin Hayes - Jesper Fast
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Viktor Stalberg
Ryan McDonagh - Kevin Klein
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
Keith Yandle - Dan Girardi
Scratched: Dylan McIlrath, Oscar Lindberg
Status report: Krug is playing in his 200th NHL game. … Raanta said he went to bed Saturday night with a stiff back, but he has received treatment for it and is capable of backing up Lundqvist against Boston. … McIlrath is expected to be a healthy scratch for the sixth straight game.
Who's hot: Chara has assists in each of the past two games; he had one in the previous seven.