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Rangers expected to stick with Carcillo in Game 4

by Tal Pinchevsky

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't reveal his lineup for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

But every indication is that forward Daniel Carcillo will remain in the lineup and continue to add fuel to an already fiery matchup.

After being a healthy scratch for the first two games, Carcillo made an impact against his former team in Game 3 on Tuesday. Skating on a line with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin, he played his signature physical style and took two penalties before scoring the final goal in a 4-1 win that allowed New York to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Carcillo was excited about the goal but was more concerned about the two penalties, especially considering the Rangers have preached discipline throughout the series.

"I know my role. I said it when I got here. No matter where I am in the lineup, to be an energy guy, a role guy, be physical, wear the other team down," Carcillo said after practice Thursday. "I just have to be smarter going forward with the stuff after the whistle. We addressed that today."

Carcillo skated with Richards and Hagelin on Thursday, indicating he will likely be back on that line for Game 4 (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH). Replacing rookie Jesper Fast, Carcillo provided a jolt of energy to a Rangers team that at times looked listless in a 4-2 loss in Game 2.

"He gives you that physical element. I think guys are aware when he's on the ice. He's going to finish his checks and get you thinking twice," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "He's fired up, he's ready to go. It was nice that he could help us the way he did."

Carcillo couldn't help but smile when asked about his goal Tuesday. But if he does play Friday, he'll be expected to provide toughness against a physical Flyers team. If nothing else, his inclusion makes a classic rivalry even more interesting.

"Emotions run high and I was obviously emotional last game. I wanted to win and beat the old club in their city. Going forward, I've got to be a lot smarter," Carcillo said. "Rangers-Flyers is going to be chippy no matter who is in the lineup. It's a good rivalry and two close cities that obviously don't like each other."

Vigneault said the Rangers are preparing to face goaltender Steve Mason, who will make his first start of the playoffs in Game 4 after missing the first two games with an upper-body injury and backing up Ray Emery in Game 3.

Mason relieved Emery with 7:15 remaining in Game 3 and stopped all three shots he faced.

"We went through this morning the same preparation on Mason that we went through with Emery. We prepared scouting reports, we had some video we showed our group," Vigneault said. "We know what to expect from him. We know the areas that we need to go after and we're going to try that [Friday]."

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