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Vigneault hints Moore will return to Rangers lineup

by Dan Rosen

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hinted that defenseman John Moore, who has served his two-game suspension, could be back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Moore was suspended for an illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. He had played in 17 of New York's 19 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to that point.

Vigneault liked having Moore in the lineup playing with Kevin Klein because it gave the Rangers three lefty-righty defense pairs.

"Johnny's played some good hockey for us," Vigneault said. "He skates with the puck well. He's a left-handed D. I think it's easy to go D-to-D when you have right- and left-handers. Johnny has been one of our consistent six defensemen that we've rolled all year."

Vigneault has used Raphael Diaz, a right-handed shot, in Moore's spot on the third defense pair with Klein the past two games, including Game 1 of the best-of-7 Cup Final, which the Los Angeles Kings won in overtime, 3-2.

Moore has one assist and is plus-4 in the playoffs. He is averaging 14:05 of ice time per game and usually plays the point on the Rangers' second power-play unit.

"If we do go that way, I'm sure he's going to be ready for it and he's going to look forward to the opportunity," Vigneault said of Moore.


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