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Vigneault With Decisions to Make Up Front

Klein Out for Game 1, Plus Lines from Practice

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

Coach Alain Vigneault would not commit to the forward lines he deployed Tuesday at practice, but it appears as though forward Tanner Glass will be in the lineup for Game 1 against the Canadiens Wednesday in Montreal.

The winger skated on the left side of Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast, while Pavel Buchnevich skated as the team's 13th forward.

"There's still a decision there to be made," Vigneault told reporters. "We had an extra forward out there today. I wanted to have 13 forwards out on the ice so that we can have better flow with eight D. 

"We'll make those decisions tomorrow," Vigneault added.

Glass said it was a season that had "some ups and downs," which included being sent to Hartford (AHL) after training camp before being recalled for the stretch run back in March. He's appeared in 11 games with the Rangers, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Over the last two days, several Rangers, including Glass, commented on the increased physicality come playoff time. The 33-year-old said he's hopeful that's an area that he can be an asset for the Blueshirts.

"As the seasons goes on, the games get tighter and the physical play becomes more important," he said. "Playoffs are a grind. You've got to win four games against the same team. It's not easy. Hopefully I can help with that."

Montreal added size at the deadline with the acquisitions of Steve Ott and Dwight King. Glass said even prior to those moves, the Canadiens have players who like to play with an edge.

"They've got some physical players," Glass stated. "Even the guys that aren't real big are pretty physically guys. [Brendan] Gallagher, [Andrew] Shaw, those guys are physical players that invite conflict and confrontation."

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Vigneault did confirm the six defensemen he'd be deploying Wednesday night, with Kevin Klein being the seventh, and thus not playing.

The coach said the back spasms that cost Klein 15 games from February and into March, left little time for the blueliner to get back to top form, but that if needed, he'd be available.

"Kleiner having been out so long and not being able to train for so long, he had the opportunity to play those games towards the end," Vigneault said. "He played alright. He's a good defenseman and he's ready. If we need him moving forward, he's ready."
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Rangers lines at practice
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey - Mika Zibanejad - Rick Nash
Michael Grabner - Kevin Hayes - J.T. Miller
Tanner Glass - Oscar Lindberg - Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Nick Holden
Brady Skjei - Brendan Smith

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