After missing two weeks with an injury to his right hand, Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh was cleared by doctors and is playing in Game 3 against the Penguins tonight.
McDonagh, who missed Games 1 and 2 and the final three regular-season games, was paired in warmups with rookie Brady Skjei, who switched from his natural left side to the right.
Earlier in the day, coach Alain Vigneault revised his statement from Monday, when he called the defenseman “doubtful” for tonight. “It’s higher than that,” Vigneault said in his morning briefing.
Dylan McIlrath and Raphael Diaz did not take warmups and were healthy scratches. Marc Staal was paired with Kevin Klein, and Keith Yandle with Dan Boyle
McDonagh, who can also play the right side, had 34 points in 73 games and was a team-leading plus-26.
In a bit of a surprise, rookie Matt Murray, 9-2-1 on the season, is in the net for the Penguins. Murray has had one full practice since suffering an undisclosed injury in the regular-season finale in Philadelphia 10 days ago.