TAMPA, Fla. — Rangers forward Ryan Strome, who suffered an apparent knee injury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final series between the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, was a last-minute scratch from the lineup for Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Barclay Goodrow, who also was injured in Game 3, was in the lineup.
Strome, who had been unable to finish Game 3, took part in the Rangers’ optional morning skate at Amalie Arena, and Goodrow, who had left Game 3 briefly with an apparent left ankle/foot injury, but returned and finished the game, did not skate in the morning.
Both players took pregame warm-ups, and so did Kevin Rooney, who played the first 12 games of the playoffs, but then didn’t play after Goodrow returned from an earlier injury late in the Rangers’ second-round series against Carolina.
When Strome was scratched, Rooney took his place in the lineup. He skated on the fourth line, between Ryan Reaves and Tyler Motte, and Goodrow moved to right wing on the second line, with Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp. Copp shifted to center.
With the Rangers trailing 1-0 after the first period, coach Gerard Gallant switched up his top two forward lines, moving Panarin up to play on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and dropping Chris Kreider down to play with Copp and Goodrow.
“When things aren’t going the way I like them to go, you hope to get a little spark sometimes,’’ Gallant said. “It didn’t work great tonight, but that’s what a coach does. Sometimes it works real good. Sometimes it’s fair, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all. So I tried something.’’
No goal review
At 7:02 of the first period, Tampa Bay looked as though they might have taken a 2-0 lead when Igor Shesterkin covered a puck just outside the goal line with his right pad and forward Corey Perry poked the goalie’s pads with his stick, forcing the pad covering the puck into the net. The referees ruled no goal, but did check the video to see if the puck had crossed the goal line legally. After a brief review, they determined the puck had been frozen before Perry moved Shesterkin’s pad, and the call of no goal stood.
Blais coming around
Forward Sammy Blais, who suffered a torn ACL in November, but who has been skating with the team since early in the Carolina series, skated Tuesday and for the first time was not wearing a non-contact jersey. Gallant, who was not on the ice for the skate, said he had not seen the skate and wasn’t aware Blais was not wearing a non-contact jersey.
“First I heard of it,’’ he said. “I had no idea he switched jerseys today.’’
The coach said he still considered Blais a long shot to play in the series.
“Yeah,’’ he said. “I’d love to see him out there, though.’’