First, get ready for the barrage of "big boy pants" wisecracks after Alain Vigneault's pre-game remarks. The Pens wore theirs in Game 2, AV said, and "I need mine to do that."
Calling Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, and the top guys...
In a significant Rangers lineup change for Game 3, rookie winger Jesper Fast replaced Derek Dorsett on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle. Raphael Diaz made his NYR palyoff debut for John Moore and J.T. Miller was dressed for his third playoff game with Dan Carcillo sitting.
Fast, 22, played in Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Philadelphia, with one assist. The Swedish youngster had been recalled April 7 from Hartford, where he had 17 goals and 34 points.
Dorsett was not on ice for warmups, so it was unclear if he was not healthy or is absence was a coach’s decision. He had played all nine previous playoff games, and was without a point. But he has been whistled for five minor penalties, including a boarding late in the third period of Game 2 on Sunday with the Rangers trailing 1-0, and the Penguins capitalized on the power play.
“Dorse put himself in that position,” coach Alain Vigneault said Monday. “I’m not sure how strong of a call it was. We’ve been very disciplined, but we’re not perfect.”
Henrik Lundqvist had the statistical edge over Marc-Andre Fleury when it came to 2nd games of playoff back-to-backs. Lundqvist was 3-0, with a .956 save percentage and a 1.00 GAA. Fleury was 1-2 , .878 and 3.33….J.T. Miller, Raphael Diaz and Justin Falk were healthy scratches for the Rangers….Brooks Orpik (lower-body injury) remained out for the Penguins.
In the postseason so far, the Rangers have been outscored in the second periods by the Flyers and Penguins 10-5. In the middle period Sunday, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead and outshot the Blueshirts 16-10. In Game 1, the Penguins scored twice and erased a 2-0 lead. “I hated our second period of both games, we’re going to have to need to be better,” Vigneault said.
Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson has been mentioned by TSN and the Raleigh Observer as a possible candidate for the head coaching job if the Carolina Hurricanes. Head coach Kirk Muller and two assistants were let go on Monday.