Alain Vigneault won't reveal Rangers Game 3 lineup

Alain Vigneault looks on during the second period

Alain Vigneault looks on during the second period of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 23, 2013) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

The gamesmanship has begun.

Although it clearly appeared that former Flyer Dan Carcillo would be in tonight's lineup for the Rangers, based on his on-ice conversations with both coach Alain Vigneault and Brad Richards at the morning skate in Wells Fargo Center,  Vigneault would not confirm it.

And neither would Carcillo, who, as we reported yesterday, has far more playoff games under his belt than Jesper Fast. The Swedish rookie who played the first two games of this series, is likely to sit tonight.

"I don't deal in hypotheticals," Carcillo said.

Here's what Vigneault had to say: "Dan's an experienced player. He brings energy to a team. He's a hard, smart player, he goes to the tough areas, and when he has an opportunity to lay a good physical hit, he does that. With him in our lineup, we've had a very good record."

Should that happen, and most writers here expect it will, there are two choices for Vigneault. Simply replace Fast with Carcillo on a line with Richards and Carl Hagelin, or put Brian Boyle in that spot and slide Carcillo to the fourth line.

But back to gamesmanship.

Flyers coach Craig Berube declined to say for certain that injured goalie Steve Mason would not back up Ray Emery, making his third start. "There's always a chance,' Berube said.

That's doubtful. But could very well be that Vinny Lecavalier jumps from the fourth line to center the second line with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. Winger Michael Raffl would center the fourth line.

More coming up....

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