To little surprise, the New York Rangers will insert defenseman John Moore back into the lineup for Raphael Diaz in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
Moore, 23, served a two-game suspension for a hit that concussed Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise. He’s been averaging 14:06 minutes per game in the postseason, generating one assist in those 17 postseason contests.
Despite Game 1 going to overtime, Diaz only received 10:15 time on ice. He only received two shifts in the third period, a clear indication that Alain Vigneault didn’t trust the 28-year-old blueliner in this situation.
It might be a subtle difference, yet Moore’s presence can help Vigneault ease up on other Rangers, particularly Ryan McDonagh (who logged more than 31 minutes in Game 1).
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.