Rangers’ Kreider moves to second line in advance of Game 7

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With their season hanging in the balance, the New York Rangers are leaning on a rookie.

Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but it’s definitely something to take from today’s practice as rookie forward Chris Kreider skated on a second line with center Derek Stepan and team captain Ryan Callahan.

The Rangers are desperate for offense, especially at even strength. As such, they’re going back to the Kreider-Stepan-Callahan line that provided a huge spark in the Ottawa series.

The unit combined for six points in Games 6and 7 and were instrumental in getting New York into Round 2.

“We had a little bit of chemistry early on, from the first time we were together in Game 6 against Ottawa,” Stepan told the New York Post. “Both those guys move their legs and are really fast skaters, so we want to create space if we can through the neutral zone and create loose pucks in the offensive zone, where we can bury our opportunities.

“We have to find a way to use our bodies to free pucks and get to the net.”

“They’re very versatile, you can use them in any situation,” Kreider added. “Unbelievable all–around players, doesn’t really matter who you play them with. They have chemistry with everybody.”

If Kreider does stick with Callahan and Stepan, look for the third line to become Artem Anisimov-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust with a fourth line of Ruslan Fedotenko-John Mitchell-Mike Rupp.