Ryan Dadoun

Video: Rangers goal reversed as Miller was narrowly offside

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The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins went into the first intermission of tonight’s game with a scoreless tie, but that almost wasn’t the case.

Pittsburgh was put into a tough spot when Conor Sheary was assigned a four-minute stint in the sin bin at 12:10 for high-sticking Dominic Moore. It looked like the Rangers scored just as their power-play opportunity was starting when Chris Kreider became the first player to beat rookie goalie Matt Murray in a postseason contest, but the goal was successfully challenged on the grounds that J.T. Miller was offside.

You can see the full event below:

The Penguins were able to kill off the rest of the penalty. In total, the Rangers managed just six shots on goal on Murray in the first frame.

It’s worth noting that the Rangers were 33-5-5 during the regular season when they scored first. Pittsburgh recorded the first goal in each of the first two games of this series.

Rangers get back captain McDonagh earlier than expected

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Ryan McDonagh was labeled as “doubtful” for tonight’s game, but in the end the Rangers blueliner is returning earlier than expected.

The 26-year-old defenseman is projected to be paired with Brady Skjei in Game 3 of the Rangers first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winning this game would give New York a 2-1 edge and defend the Rangers’ recently gained home ice advantage in the series after they took one in Pittsburgh.

In McDonagh, the Rangers are getting back their captain and their regular season leader in minutes per game (22:21). He hasn’t played since April 4 due to a hand injury.

AHL call-up Raphael Diaz and Dylan McIlrath are both healthy scratches.

Penguins’ Matt Murray makes his playoff debut

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If not for an injury sustained during the Penguins’ season finale on April 9, Matt Murray might have been the Pittsburgh’s Game 1 starter. He’s in between the pipes tonight though for Game 3 against the New York Rangers.

Although it looked like Jeff Zatkoff would start in his third straight 2016 playoff contest tonight based on the morning skate, the Penguins ultimately went with the 21-year-old Murray.

What the rookie goalie lacks in experience, he makes up for in promise. Murray was a dominant force in the AHL and in 13 starts with Pittsburgh this season, he posted a 2.00 GAA and .930 save percentage.

During his and Marc-Andre Fleury‘s absence, Zatkoff stepped up in Game 1 against the Rangers by turning aside 35 of 37 shots. However, Zatkoff allowed four goals on 28 shots in Game 2 as New York evened the series.

WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action

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We got another full night of postseason contests ahead of us with two pairs of games that will run simultaneously. All the action will be both aired and streamed though, so here’s a quick rundown of where to watch tonight’s contests:

Tampa Bay at Detroit (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. You can also stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app by clicking here.

Pittsburgh at the New York Rangers (7:00 p.m. ET)

Game 3 of this series will air on USA. If you want to watch the live stream, click here.

Anaheim at Nashville (9:30 p.m. ET)

USA will show Game 3 of the series. Meanwhile the live stream will be available here.

St. Louis at Chicago (9:30 p.m. ET)

Game 4 of the series will air on NBCSN. For the live stream please click here.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to catch up, these stories might interest you:

Goalie change: Ducks start Andersen over Gibson for crucial Game 3 in Nashville

Blackhawks’ Rundblad told to ‘be ready’ to play tonight

No Fleury for Game 3; Murray an ‘option’ for Penguins

Drouin admits he may have been wrong, out to prove himself to teammates

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What if Jonathan Drouin playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning right now is more than just a marriage of convenience until he can be dealt this summer? What if, even after demanding a trade and temporarily being suspended in the AHL when he refused to play for a stretch prior to the trade deadline, Drouin’s relationship with the Lightning can still be repaired?

After all that regular season drama, Drouin is back with the Lightning and playing a significant role in the absence of Steven Stamkos. While that’s happening, Drouin seems both open and interested in improving his relationship with the team, as he told NHL.com:

“I have a lot of stuff to prove to myself but to the staff and the team here,” Drouin said. “Some things I did maybe [were] not [in] the right, but it’s up to me to prove that and be sure I have their back and playing the right way.”

Can this be salvaged?

“Yeah, definitely,” Drouin said. “It’s hard to say right now. I’m putting that stuff aside. I don’t even want to talk about it. Right now I’m just focusing on my play, helping this team, and I’m sure everything’s going to figure itself out at one point.”

That’s part of a much longer piece that goes into the improvements Drouin has shown since being called up and provides more history and context about his situation, which is worth reading. But to focus in on that one section, as implausible at it seems that Drouin would remain with Tampa Bay after everything’s that has happened, in a way it’s very realistic.

This is a business that sometimes sees restricted free agents sign with another club only to have their contract match and other young players hold out to the point of missing part of training camp or even some regular season games as a negotiating tactic. While neither of those scenarios are the same as what Drouin did, at the end of the day franchises will act in their best interests and if the Lightning feel that they’re best served by keeping Drouin rather than trading him then they will be open to that.

The bigger question is if Drouin changes his mind about his trade demand. If he feels like he’s at a point where he’s earned a bigger role with the team, maybe he will.

This is all speculation and at the very least both sides are expected to get along for this playoff run, so we really won’t know what the future holds until after that’s over. As long as we’re discussing a what if scenario though, here’s one other wrinkle: If Stamkos’ injury is what’s contributing to Drouin’s current role, then consider that Stamkos still hasn’t signed a new contract. That doesn’t mean he won’t re-sign with Tampa Bay, but there certainly are a lot of variables at play with the Lightning.

And keep in mind, the story has already changed dramatically. As recently as late February, it looked like the ship had sailed on Drouin’s return to the Lightning.