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Rangers' Raphael Diaz takes John Moore's spot on defense

Raphael Diaz of the Rangers takes the shot

Raphael Diaz of the Rangers takes the shot during the first period against the New Jersey Devils while playing in his first game for the team at the Prudential Center on March 22, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty

With defenseman John Moore serving the first of his two-game suspension for his Game 5 head shot on Dale Weise, Raphael Diaz stepped in to play the left side on the third pair with Kevin Klein.

"It's going to be a good challenge," said Diaz, a righty, who played Games 3 and 4 against Pittsburgh, averaging 18 minutes on ice. "I always played on the left side since I'm here. I like it a lot; a couple things I've found out that's easier on the left side. You can move the puck really quickly right away . . . I'm fresh. I didn't play for a couple weeks and now I've got the opportunity. It's important to find the rhythm right away, and get the body into it as well."

The 28-year-old defenseman, who played two seasons for Montreal, was acquired by the Blueshirts from Vancouver at the trade deadline in March. "He's not overly physical, but he's got good instincts, moves the puck well, can help us on the power play," coach Alain Vigneault said.

 

Klein on the rush

Although he is not known as an offensive weapon, with 17 career goals, Klein was getting more involved with the rushes. "The situation dictates that you either defend or you can attack a little bit more," Vigneault said. "In Kleiner's case, there's been some opportunities for him to jump on the attack. Our Ds have the green light."

 

Weise out, Prust in

Weise was out with a suspected concussion from the Moore hit, and Brandon Prust, back from his suspension for breaking Derek Stepan's jaw, skated in his spot on the fourth line . . . J.T. Miller, believed to have a shoulder injury, Justin Falk, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg were Rangers scratches.

New York Sports