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AV keeping Game 3 lineup under wraps

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault may or may not be tinkering with his lines and lineup for tonight’s game.

That’s hardly newsworthy insight, huh? Well, it is discussion-worthy considering Nick Holden’s blunders in Game 2 and the fact that Claude Julien is making some changes to his lineup.

In a pivotal Game 3 who the Rangers have on the ice and what the lines look like will be an inescapable storyline.

If Holden is a healthy scratch for the first time this season he will almost certainly be replaced by veteran defenseman Kevin Klein. The other options of course are the recently re-signed Steven Kampfer and Adam Clendening.

From Larry Brooks’ piece in the New York Post today:

Though the first question is whether Vigneault, a very loyal man, would render Holden a healthy scratch for the first time all year, the corresponding one is whether the coach would replace him with veteran Kevin Klein or Steven Kampfer, whom Vigneault talked up unsolicited before the series began.

The one change that we do know about is Montreal pulling Nikita Nesterov out of its lineup in favor of Brandon Davidson. Davidson, a former Oiler, was last in Montreal’s lineup on April 8th.

Davidson will likely only be in the lineup for tonight’s game and Game 4 at the Garden. Why do we know that? Because Alexei Emelin didn’t travel to New York, but he is still only considered day-to-day.

“He’s day-to-day,” Claude Julien told the Montreal Gazette. “The word I got is that he’ll skate today or tomorrow. We left him in Montreal because he’ll be able to skate and get better treatment there.”

There is also some talk about Alex Galchenyuk starting tonight’s game on Montreal’s third line. Galchenyuk has started Game 1 and 2 on the Habs fourth line.

Tonight’s pivotal Game 3 begins a little after 7:00pm at the Garden.

A live stream of the game will be available through NBC Sports: Link here.