Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Alain Vigneault seeking faster pace in Game 4 for Rangers

Alain Vigneault reacts after the Rangers scored against

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

The Blueshirts skated at MSG on Thursday but also watched videos of goaltender Steve Mason, who was formally named as the Flyers starter for Game 4.

"We went through the same preparation as we went through with Emery, scouting report, some video, we know what to expect from him and we know the areas to go after," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.

Mason's former teammate Derick Brassard...

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After Game 3 win, Rangers ready for Steve Mason

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason faces the action

(Credit: AP / Tom Mihalek)

Steve Mason is several inches taller than Ray Emery and five years younger. And he catches with his right hand.

So there are some visible differences between the Flyers goaltender who started the first three games of the series and the one who will start the fourth on Friday.

It's the intangibles that will matter.

Emery faced 89 Ranger shots and stopped 79 for an .888 save percentage,...

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Martin St. Louis named one of three Lady Byng finalists

Martin St. Louis celebrates scoring a goal in

(Credit: Getty Images / Paul Bereswill)

Martin St. Louis, along with San Jose's Patrick Marleau and Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly were chosen as the three finalists for the trophy awarded to the player who displays a combination of (and I paraphrase here), "sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and a high standard of playing ability."

The three were the top votegetters in ballots by the PHWA. The winner will be announced June 24.

St....

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Alain Vigneault won't reveal Rangers Game 3 lineup

Alain Vigneault looks on during the second period

(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...

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Alain Vigneault: 'At this time of year, you can't play OK; have to play better'

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault looks on against

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Here's a quick recap of Alain Vigneault's briefing before I cruise down to Philly. Nothing especially startling from the players after the optional practice, but will file something on that later.

Vigneault, who said he was not frustrated, but "felt some disappointment" after the loss and did not rule out lineup changes.

In my mind, it's possible Dan Carcillo, with experience in Wells...

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Questions after Rangers let two-goal lead slip away

Derek Stepan of the Rangers scores a third-period

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Remember the Five Keys we wrote about in Newsday before the series? All were factors this afternoon. #patsselfonback

1. Injuries: Emery bounced back, but Rangers did not have enough push in the third.

2. Netfront presence: Flyers had it on their goals.

3. Special teams: Rangers one-for-six on the PP, including that 4-on-3 for 1:40 something in the second.

4. Star power: Rick...

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Game 2 projected lineups

Martin St. Louis of the Rangers skates against

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Happy Easter from MSG....

Certainly poor planning by the NHL and NBC,  but I've said enough about that.

Warmups coming up soon...

Projected lineups:

Flyers

Emery-Heeter

Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek;  Raffl-BSchenn-Simmonds;  Read-Couturier-Akeson; Rinaldo-Lecavalier-Hall  Timmonen-Coburn; Streit-Grossman, MacDonald-LSchenn

Rangers

Lundqvist-Talbot

Nash-Stepan-St.Louis; ...

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NYR, Flyers update: Rangers staying hungry, Mason might play Sun.

Flyers' Steve Mason reaches for a shot by

(Credit: AP / Matt Slocum)

Both the Rangers and Flyers will be skating at the Garden on Saturday, but it’s just separate practices: The Blueshirts at 11, the Orangeshirts at 12:30.

I’m expecting the same lineup for the Rangers, with J.T. Miller, Dan Carcillo, Raphael Diaz and Justin Falk scratched. Why not? 35-15 in shots. 

The word from Chelsea Piers, where Flyers goalie Steve Mason (upper-body) took shots...

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Mason will rejoin Flyers on Friday, Game 2 status uncertain

Philadelphia Flyers' Steve Mason catches a shot during

(Credit: AP / Matt Slocum)

It's possible that tonight could be Ray Emery's only start this week at MSG.

G Steve Mason, who remained in Philadelphia with an upper-body injury sustained when his head and neck hit the ice in the season finale, is "doing better"  and will join the team in New York on Friday, Flyers coach Craig Berube said.

But Berube said Mason would not practice tomorrow, and did not know if...

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Rangers lineup: Ryan McDonagh in, Raphael Diaz out

Ryan McDonagh sets before a faceoff against the

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Although rookie Jesper Fast did not join his teammates in the morning skate here at Madison Square Garden, it appears that he will dress for his first NHL playoff game.

Asked if Dan Carcillo would be in for Fast, coach Alain Vigneault said “No” and explained that it was a “maintenance morning” for the Swedish right wing. J.T. Miller, Raphael Diaz and Justin Falk remained on the ice late with...

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