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Vanek on fourth line for Canadiens in Game 3

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek was demoted to the fourth line at the beginning of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series 2-0.

Vanek has five goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but scored them in three games. He has no points and one shot on goal in two games against the Rangers. He has no points and two shots on goal in his past three games.

Vanek joined Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust on the fourth line in warm-ups. Vanek used to play with Briere when they were teammates with the Buffalo Sabres.

The domino effect of Vanek's demotion is that Dale Weise moved up from the fourth line to the third, and Brian Gionta was bumped to the second line to play with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk.

Montreal's first line of Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher stayed intact.

Rangers center Derick Brassard did not make it into the lineup for the second straight game; he took part in the morning skate. Daniel Carcillo is in the lineup and playing on the fourth line for the second straight game.

Brassard played two shifts totaling 35 seconds in Game 1. He didn't play after taking an open-ice hit from Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver 3:03 into the first period.

Here are the lineups for Game 3 based on warm-ups:


Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Dale Weise

Brandon Prust - Daniel Briere - Thomas Vanek

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Nathan Beaulieu - Mike Weaver

Dustin Tokarski

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Douglas Murray, George Parros, Jarred Tinordi, Travis Moen, Michael Bournival, Ryan White, Francis Bouillon

Injured: Carey Price (knee)


Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Dominic Moore - Mats Zuccarello

Daniel Carcillo - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Raphael Diaz, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Justin Falk

Injured: Derick Brassard (upper body)


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