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Rangers' Diaz could enter lineup in Game 5

New York considering adding defenseman to boost power play against Pittsburgh

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is contemplating a change on defense for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, TVA Sports).

The Rangers trail the series 3-1.

One option Vigneault is considering is inserting Raphael Diaz into the lineup. Vigneault would not say who would potentially be replaced, but Diaz was working with one of the Rangers' power-play units at practice Friday.

The Rangers are 0-for-11 on the power play in the past three games and 1-for-16 in the series. Their lone power-play goal was scored during a 5-on-3 advantage in Game 1.

"That's a possibility I'm looking at," Vigneault said. "[Diaz] is a guy who has played the power play before. We all know our power play and our penalty killing aren't at their best, so I'm looking for solutions there and I'm looking at all options now."

If Diaz plays, it would be his first NHL game since May 10, 2015, when he played for the Calgary Flames against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Diaz spent all of 2015-16 with Hartford, the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate. The Rangers had intentions of recalling him on multiple occasions, but he was injured each time they had the need.

Diaz played 11 games for the Rangers in 2013-14.

"He's not a total unknown," Vigneault said. "It's not like I haven't seen him. He's played for our team before. Unfortunately this year when we wanted to call him up, he was injured. But he's not unknown. I know what he can bring to the table. If I feel and my staff feels that what he brings might help us, than we might make that decision."

It also appears as if forward Oscar Lindberg will remain in the lineup after making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 4 in place of Kevin Hayes. Lindberg played 10:33 and had three shots on goal, five shot attempts and two hits.

"He was one of our better forwards [in Game 4]," Vigneault said. "He played well for us."

Vigneault said defenseman Dan Girardi, who practiced Friday, remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

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