Pavel Buchnevich

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Rangers sign KHL d-man Bereglazov

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New York added some defensive depth on Friday, agreeing to terms with Russian blueliner Alexei Bereglazov.

Bereglazov, 23, has spent the last few seasons with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, including a ’16-17 campaign in which he scored 19 points in 60 games. He led all d-men aged 24 or younger in assists, with 18.

Despite being passed over at the draft, Bereglazov had a good junior career, highlighted by capturing bronze for Russia at the 2014 World Juniors. He finished with two points in seven games in the tourney, playing alongside the likes of Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Ivan Barbashev and his new Rangers teammate, Pavel Buchnevich.

It’ll be interesting to see where he fits in New York next season. The club has seven blueliners under contract — Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei and Steve Kampfer — with Brendan Smith a pending UFA, and Adam Clendening a pending RFA.

 

Will Buchnevich get his chance tonight?

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Head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t commit to giving Pavel Buchnevich his playoff debut, but it does seem likely that the 22-year-old forward will draw into the Rangers’ lineup tonight against Montreal.

Buchnevich practiced with the power play yesterday. New York is 0-for-10 with the man advantage in the series — just one of the reasons the Rangers trail the Canadiens, 2-1.

“Our power play has had quite a few areas where it hasn’t executed so far,” Vigneault said this morning. “When we finished off the season our power play was giving us momentum, and giving us timely goals. I’m very confident that tonight we’re going to turn it around. Pavel there, or Pavel not there, we’ve looked at a couple of areas. We’ve gotta execute, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”

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Buchnevich was not a particularly big producer on the power play during the regular season, scoring once with two assists in 76:52 of PP ice time. But he’s got the skill and shot to make a difference, assuming he gets the chance.

If Buchnevich does play tonight, it may be on a line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Those three practiced together yesterday, with Tanner Glass taking turns with Buchnevich.

Related: Vigneault vows a better Rangers effort in Game 4

Rangers to sit McDonagh, Nash, Zuccarello and Fast against Caps

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The Rangers have little to play for down the stretch — they’ve clinched the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and know they’re playing Montreal in Round 1 — so head coach Alain Vigneault has decided to rest some veterans.

Starting tomorrow.

On Tuesday, Vigneault announced that captain Ryan McDonagh and forwards Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast would all sit out Wednesday’s game against the Capitals.

“They’ve all been playing through certain bumps and bruises,” Vigneault explained, per the club website. “So we can at this time give them a couple days here but I’m not exactly sure how things are going to unfold here.”

Vigneault went on to say none of the injuries were significant, and all four will play when the Rangers open up the posteason next week.

That said, it does create some confusion for tomorrow. Here’s what the makeshift lines will look like:

Pavel Buchnevich into Zuccarello’s spot with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider.

Brandon Pirri will skate with Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey.

The Kevin Hayes unit with J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner was reunited, while Oscar Lindberg will skate between Matt Puempel and Tanner Glass.

New York didn’t unveil what the defensive pairings will be without McDonagh in the mix.

This will be Zuccarello’s first missed game of the year, as he was one of just four Rangers to play in all 79 contests (Miller, Stepan and d-man Nick Holden are the others).

McDonagh, who leads all Rangers by averaging 24:24 TOI per night, has appeared in 76 games, having missed a few recently with an undisclosed ailment.

McDonagh out with ‘nothing serious’; Vesey likely a healthy scratch

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The New York Rangers won’t have their best defenseman for tonight’s home game against Pittsburgh.

Ryan McDonagh will sit out with an undisclosed ailment.

It’s “nothing serious,” according to head coach Alain Vigneault, but the Rangers might as well be cautious given they’re all but officially locked into the first wild-card spot in the East.

McDonagh logged 25:34 of ice time during Tuesday’s 5-4 loss in San Jose. He didn’t practice yesterday, with Vigneault calling it a “maintenance” day.

In other Rangers news, Jimmy Vesey is expected to be a healthy scratch against the Penguins after having “a real off night” in San Jose, per Vigneault.

Pavel Buchnevich is likely to replace Vesey.

Related: Lundqvist to start four of five remaining games

Rangers make changes after loss in Anaheim

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The scuffling New York Rangers — coming off a 6-3 loss Sunday in Anaheim, and with just two wins in their last seven — are expected to have a slightly different lineup tonight in San Jose.

Up front, winger Matt Puempel is likely to replace rookie Pavel Buchnevich. And on the back end, Dan Girardi will come in for Kevin Klein.

The Girardi-for-Klein switch is no huge surprise. Both d-men have been battling injuries, with Klein only returning Sunday after an extended absence due to back spasms. Head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters that he “didn’t want to put two injured defensemen in at the same time,” so Klein gets the night off tonight.

As for the potential scratching of Buchnevich, that decision would be slightly more controversial. The 21-year-old has two goals and three assists in his last 11 games, but clearly has not gained the full trust of his coach.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in goal after a tough return to the net against the Ducks.