The Rangers got through the first two rounds on the strength of 2-1 victories, but in Games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference Final they weren’t able to contain the Tampa Bay Lightning. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers will be looking to bounce back tonight after surrendering six goals in each of those contests.
The game is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. ET and you can tune in as early as 7:00 for pregame coverage. The contest will air on NBCSN and it can also be streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra:
The decision comes after Dansk struggled in his first professional campaign in North America. He split time between Columbus’ AHL affiliate in Springfield and ECHL Kalamazoo, posting relatively weak numbers while getting passed by other young goalies on the organizational depth chart, most notably Anton Forsberg and Joonas Korpisalo.
The development has to be a disappointment for both the Blue Jackets and Dansk. Just three years ago, he was regarded as one of the better young goaltending prospects around; he backstopped Sweden to silver at the 2014 World Juniors (with a 1.79 GAA and .929 save percentage) and, in his draft year, was the third goalie taken behind Andrei Vasilevskiy and Malcolm Subban.
It’s worth noting this is the third prospect the Blue Jackets have had issues with this summer. University of Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly, the club’s fourth-round pick in 2011, has held off on signing his ELC with the club and appears primed to hit free agency. There are also rumblings that Kerby Rychel, the club’s first-round pick in 2013, has been made available for trade.
Tampa Bay d-man Matt Carle will miss his first game of the postseason tonight when the Bolts host the Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena.
Carle, shook up following a collision with Derek Stepan during Game 3 — a hit that forced Carle from the game — was officially ruled out this morning by head coach Jon Cooper, who wouldn’t reveal what he’d do in terms of a lineup replacement.
From today’s media availability:
Q. So maybe get a guy like [Mark] Barberio in there?
COACH COOPER: Maybe. Our full 21 guys are playing, so you have to show up tonight to see which guy is out. But he’s one of the guys I told might be in.
Q. Either way, if you do go 7 [defensemen], you have a guy that hasn’t played for a while in the lineup. What kind of things go into that?
COACH COOPER: This is where you find out if guys are pros or not. It’s a game we all love to play, but it’s also in some respects, it’s your job. These guys are expected to, when your name is called, to come in and do the best you can and keep yourself in shape. Our guys and our staff have done a great job with players that haven’t been in the starting line-up, but potentially could come in. You look at everybody from, you know, if it is Barberio to [Jonathan] Drouin, [Vladislav] Namestnikov, [Jonathan] Marchessault, go down the list.
Carle, 30, was averaging 16:35 TOI per night prior to getting hurt, with two points and a minus-6 rating.
Twins joining Triplets? Watch out if Stamkos, Killorn keep heating up
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s “Triplets” line has done something remarkable: knock Steven Stamkos off the marquee, at least for a little while.
The scary thing for the New York Rangers – and maybe the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks – is that the Lightning’s “other” big combo is really starting to generate points and havoc, as well. With Ryan Callahan still recovering from emergency surgery and Valtteri Filppula a little less noticeable on the line, the duo of Stamkos and Alex Killorn is being dubbed “The Twins” by the Ottawa Sun.
There’s no word on how Henrik and Daniel Sedin feel about such a nickname, as Stamkos stands out is pretty easy to distinguish from just about any other player, really:
Granted, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson don’t look alike, either. Instead, they blend together by being so dominant and cohesive, and the startling thing about the last game-and-change is that Killorn has been as impressive as Stamkos.
Jon Cooper singled Killorn and Palat out in Game 3, in particular:
Cooper said that Palat and Killorn were "giants among men" in Game 3. #TBLightning
Of course, it’s scarier for opponents to see Stamkos on his game, and he definitely asserted himself on Wednesday. His all-out-effort on his 2-1 goal really made a statement:
In the past two games, Stamkos has two goals and two assists. Killorn has been even more productive with three goals and two helpers, and it’s more than that, as his overwhelming Game 3 effort included nine shots on goal.
If this keeps up, opponents face the unsettling “pick your poison” proposition: do you focus on “The Triplets,” Killorn – Stamkos or risk spreading yourself thin? Call each line what you want, but on their best days, they amount to a matchup nightmare.
PHT Morning Skate: Charitable beards and young Mike Babcock
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Even if you’re one of those cold souls who think that playoff beards are played out – really? – this story should warm your heart a bit: the Washington Capitals’ (copyrighted!) Beard-a-Thon raised more than $30K for the American Special Hockey Association. (Capitals)
Want to get your mind blown a little bit? Check out these photos of young and very young Mike Babcock. (BarDown)
Former WWE star CM Punk’s passion for the Chicago Blackhawks is no secret, but you can find out more about his fandom here. (The Hockey News)
Alex Killorn believes that his mom is more impressed with his degree than his NHL career. Well, it is from Harvard. (Tampa Bay Times)
More on Joel Quenneville’s decision to go with “fresh legs.” (CSNChicago.com)
The “ripple effect” of Babcock’s contract. (Sportsnet)
Clearing the defensive zone might not be so clearly beneficial. (Jen LC)