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Brassard likely back in; Nash slump-busts; Kreider likes being the villain; Third line going strong

Today's New York Rangers notes.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The way the schedule was the first two rounds, three days off seems like a month. But rest assured, Game 3 is right around the corner. The Rangers were off on Tuesday, which gave us some time to digest the first two games. Here are your morning notes.

When the puck drops for Game 3 Thursday night, Derick Brassard will likely be back in. [NY Post] [Rangers Rants]

It's been the case since about Christmas: The Rangers' third line is carrying the team. [SB Nation]

While no one is officially wearing the 'C,' the veteran presence in the Rangers locker room is making sure the team doesn't get complacent. [NY Post]

Chris Kreider is relishing the role of villain. [ESPN NY]

On why the absence of Carey Price is not the death sentence some are making it out to be. [Deadspin]

In the nick of time, Rick Nash has awoken. [NY Post] [ESPN NY] [Daily News]

Montreal was being pretty aggressive on its forecheck in the first period, especially after losing offensive zone draw. Then the Rangers used it against them. [The Score]

After playing two seven-game series to get to the Eastern Conference Finals, a short series could go a long way for the Rangers. [Daily News]