With their season hanging in the balance, the New York Rangers have shaken up their defensive pairings for Game 5 this afternoon thanks to the return of Dan Girardi from an undisclosed injury.
Girardi hasn’t played since Game 1 due to the injury, but he’s projected to skate alongside Brady Skjei. To make room on the roster, 39-year-old blueliner Dan Boyle has been scratched. Boyle has averaged 19:35 minutes per game so far in the series.
New York’s other two defensive pairings are projected to be Keith Yandle and Kevin Klein as well as Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh. Raphael Diaz is also on the roster as a seventh defenseman and might play a significant role with the man advantage.
The Rangers need to bounce back after being outscored 8-1 in their past two games. Solving Penguins goalie Matt Murray will obviously be a top priority, but the Rangers will also need to contain the Pittsburgh’s potent offense in a way that they haven’t been able to for much of this series.