LOS ANGELES -- After a very satisfying win in Las Vegas in the opening game of the current trip, coach David Quinn said he was pleased with all four lines, and offered up that if one was a betting man, he should bet that those lines would stay together. And they did. Quinn kept the same lineup, and the same lines and defense pairs as he used on Sunday.
One of the lines the coach was most pleased with was the fourth line, of Brendan Smith at left wing, Greg McKegg in the middle and Jesper Fast on the right. Fast, one of two players who has played on the first, second, third and fourth lines this season, scored a goal against Vegas.
And, Quinn said, this fourth line has a chance to get more ice time than his fourth lines normally do. Against Vegas, all three played more than 10 minutes (Fast, 12:44; Smith, 12:34, and McKegg, 10:29), something that doesn’t usually happen with Quinn.
“Yeah, they played a lot the other night, relative to the other (previous) fourth lines,’’ he said. “I would like to play our fourth line more. I know you may not believe it, based on the minutes they’ve played, and I get that. But I really liked their game (against Vegas), and that’s a line that, when they’re on their game, they can really influence a game, regardless of who they’re out there (against).’’
The Rangers entered the game with the most goals (26) and points (86) by their defensemen.“Well, we’ve got some talented defensemen, offensively,’’ Quinn said. “I think their decision-making, on when to get involved in the play, when they have opportunities to create offense, they take advantage of it.’’ … LW Micheal Haley was the lone healthy scratch.