Rick Nash needs to raise the bar
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Rick Nash's glittering regular-season statistics and international medals are available for anyone who wants to look them up.
But with one goal in 16 NHL playoff games, Nash has yet to rise above the crowd in the postseason, and Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hopes he will come through before this series ends.
"He's got to try and elevate his game," Vigneault said Saturday. "He knows he's a big part of us having success in winning games and moving forward . . . It's his time, it's our team's time, he's a big part of that. It's a 2-2 series; players that are going to be able to bring their A-game, elevate it and keep that A-game consistently on the ice, that's the team that's going to win."
Vigneault doesn't believe that effort is the issue for Nash, who played 17:11 in Game 4 with five shots on goal, two attempts blocked and four misses. "He's trying every shift to put his best foot forward,'' he said. "It's a tough league; the opposition, when you've got an elite player like that, obviously has a plan. The one thing I don't have any doubt about is his willingness, and he prepares himself well."
Gill to replace Grossman
Veteran Hal Gill apparently will start Sunday in place of Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossman, who suffered a leg injury during Game 4. Gill, 39, who was paired with Mark Streit in practice Saturday, has played only six games all season. In his career, the 6-7 blueliner has dressed for 110 postseason games, none since 2011-12.
Carcillo stays in lineup
It appears that Dan Carcillo, who scored in Game 3, will remain in the lineup after playing in both road games. "His style is effective anywhere you play," Vigneault said. "It's energy; he has to be smart with the energy and physicality, and I think for the most part, Dan has done that."