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

May 11, 2012, 1:52 PM EDT

Chris Kreider Caps

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.

  1. jkay1818 - May 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I dont understand why tortorella changes the lines so much and messes with chemistry. The kreider, stepan and callahan line were doing great and getting chances almost every shift and then he broke them up. With that line and their first line, it provided them with a good one two punch. Stepan is a pretty gifted passer and needs guys like that on his line to excel. The prust, stepan and fedotenko line was a head scratcher for games 5 & 6.

  2. firemarshal1 - May 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Why did the coaching staff split up the players in the first place? If it wasn’t for Lundqvist’s great play last game, the game would have been blow out. Washington knows the NYR won’t push for the offense tempo. So why the Caps know there always in the game. Now, we know how important Brandon Dubinsky is for the Rangers team. Even though he had a down year offensively. He creates an up tempo for the team. Good luck Rangers!

  3. hockeyfan763 - May 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I believe Kreider got demoted after he got the first assist on Ovechkins goal.

    • barkar942 - May 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Absolutely. And I believe he was on the ice for the other goal. Torts has zero tolerance for defensive mistakes, and your ice time diminishes as you practice and work on the defensive end of things.
      Torts is all about earning your ice time. He starts off with four lines and then usually is down to three by the third period of whichever three lines are performing the best each shift.
      Can’t argue too much with his theory- they did win the East.

  4. dannythebisforbeast - May 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Torts. Hahha. U say it like you blew him

  5. nyrangersfan - May 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    hahaha that’s hilarious. LET’S GO RANGERS!!!!

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