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Rangers to shuffle lines vs. Canadiens

New York to go with Kreider with Brassard, Nash

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

RANGERS (42-24-8) at CANADIENS (34-35-6)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, MSG 2

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers will have a few new looks to their lines when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said the forward lines he put together for practice in New York on Friday would be in place to start the game.

That meant left wing Chris Kreider would play on a line with center Derick Brassard and right wing Rick Nash, and Jesper Fast will be at right wing with center Eric Staal and Kevin Hayes, who moved to left wing.

Goalie Antti Raanta will start against the Canadiens; Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

New York is in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 92 points, four points ahead of the third-place Penguins. The Penguins played at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

"A lot of teams play fast and I think this team plays exceptionally fast and they've got a lot of good players," Montreal defenseman Greg Pateryn said after the morning skate at the Canadiens' practice facility in Brossard, Quebec. "But at the same time it's an opportunity to show that you can play against these fast players on these top teams. So I'm looking forward to it, absolutely. It's an easy game to get up for."

Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu said he is looking forward to facing the Rangers for the first time since Nov. 25.

"Being here for the last couple of years it's one of my favorite teams to play," he said. "It's always a big game and we've faced them in the playoffs so we know it's going to be a hard-fought battle tonight. The season's gone different ways, obviously, but I feel like we have an opportunity to show some pride because this team's knocked us out of the playoffs, the guys that are here, so it's always a fun one to play against the Rangers.

Montreal has won three straight regular-season games against New York, which defeated them in six games in the 2014 Eastern Conference Final.

"They're a tight-checking team," Beaulieu said. "And if you turn the puck over they're going to kill you. So the biggest thing is just to play sound and strong defensively."

Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban will miss his eighth straight game. He is recovering from a neck injury sustained March 10.

Forward Sven Andrighetto will return to the lineup after missing the past three games because of an upper-body injury he sustained when he was checked by Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf on March 19.

RANGERS

Chris Kreider - Derick Brassard - Rick Nash

J.T. Miller - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello

Kevin Hayes - Eric Staal - Jesper Fast

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Viktor Stalberg

Ryan McDonagh - Kevin Klein

Marc Staal - Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle - Dan Girardi

Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Injured: Dylan McIlrath (knee)

Scratched: Oscar Lindberg

CANADIENS

Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Sven Andrighetto

Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Paul Byron

David Desharnais - Michael McCarron - Torrey Mitchell

Stefan Matteau - Phillip Danault - Mike Brown

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Nathan Beaulieu - Greg Pateryn

Joel Hanley - Darren Dietz

Mike Condon

Ben Scrivens

Injured: P.K. Subban (neck), Carey Price (lower body), Mark Barberio (concussion-like symptoms), Brendan Gallagher (lower body), Daniel Carr (lower body), Jeff Petry (sports hernia), Brian Flynn (lower body), Tom Gilbert (knee), Lucas Lessio (knee), Victor Bartley (lower body)

Scratched: Jacob De La Rose

Status report: McIlrath was on the ice with Lindberg and Lundqvist at Bell Centre on Saturday. They were the only Rangers to skate Saturday morning. … Brown did not take part in the morning skate but will be in the lineup despite leaving in the third period of Montreal's 4-3 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday because of a lower-body injury. "I did the necessary treatment and I feel good now," Brown said.

Who's hot: Stepan has one goal and three assists in his past two games. … Brassard has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak. … Nash has scored in consecutive games for the third time this season, and first since Dec. 28-30. … Klein has two goals and five assists in his past six games. … Zuccarello has two goals and one assist in his past two games. … Hanley has had two assists in each of his past two games. … Galchenyuk and Plekanec each have one goal and one assist in the past two games.

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