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For Game 3 in Philly, Rangers need some desperation

Marin St. Louis looks on against the Philadelphia

Marin St. Louis looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first period of Game 2 during the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, April 20, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

PHILADELPHIA -- After they lost their grip on Sunday's game, perhaps Tuesday night will be the Rangers' turn to be desperate.

A day after failing to hold an early two-goal lead in a game in which they could have taken a two-games-to-none edge in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series, the Rangers regrouped and headed to Philadelphia for Game 3 in what will be a raucous atmosphere at Wells Fargo Center.

"They were probably a little more desperate than we were for some reason," Brad Richards said after about a dozen Rangers skated at Madison Square Garden Monday. "They felt like they had to win that game, and I'm not saying we didn't . . . but for some reason, after we got up 2-0, we maybe let off a touch, and that's what we're going to have to realize. The intensity level and the level of play have to jump up a lot more than it did from Game 1 to Game 2."

Coach Alain Vigneault used another "D" word instead of desperate to describe the 4-2 loss. He said he "felt some disappointment . . . We had an OK game, but at this time of the year, you can't play OK, you have to play better."

Vigneault said he had not settled on a starting lineup. One possible change would affect two lines. Former Flyer Dan Carcillo, with 37 games of playoff experience and a familiarity with the team and the building, could step in on the fourth line. Carcillo, who is 5-7-12 with 75 penalty minutes in the 37 games, did not dress for the first two games of this series. He declined to speak to reporters after the skate.

If Carcillo plays, it is likely that rookie Jesper Fast, who had "a good overall game" on Sunday, Vigneault said, would come out. Fast played only three shifts in the third period with the Rangers down 3-2 as Vigneault chose to double-shift more experienced players. That would leave an opening on the Richards-Carl Hagelin line, which might be filled by Brian Boyle.

With the home team getting the last change, matchups could be an issue, particularly when defending against the Flyers' top line of Jakub Voracek (who scored the Flyers' first goal on Sunday), Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.

"I never thought going into the series that we'd be able to shut that line down," Vigneault said. "You've got elite players that have been racking up points on a regular basis against all of the teams. So far, we've done a fair job against them."

Notes & quotes: Derek Dorsett and Mats Zuccarello disagreed with their embellishment penalties in the second period of Game 2. "I think everybody who watches me play knows I'm not a diver," Zuccarello said, "so you get pretty irritated right there when you think it's a bad call. But right now, I don't think about it. It's a new game coming up." Dorsett, who was crosschecked from behind, said: "I hit Giroux going to the net and it was probably two seconds after the whistle, then I get hit. I'm in a vulnerable position. I can't see what's coming behind me. Whether I went down easy or not, in my opinion, I wasn't diving." . . . The Rangers have won eight of the last 12 playoff series in which they split the first two games, including five of the last seven when they split the first two games at home.

New York Sports