The New York Rangers made one change to their lineup before Game 3 of their series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Alain Vigneault inserted Daniel Carcillo in for Jesper Fast, hoping to add a physical presence to his second line. It paid off as the Rangers rolled over Philly and now hold a 2-1 series lead. Carcillo wasn’t the best player for New York, but he made the very most of his nine minutes of time on the ice.
While Carcillo is typically slated as a fourth-line player, New York’s fourth line of Brian Boyle, Derick Dorsett and Dominic Moore have played so well together that there’s no sense in splitting them up. That meant Carcillo got a chance to skate alongside Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards. Neither player is known for a physical style of play, so Carcillo brought strength and toughness to the second line.
Carcillo was certainly involved physically, getting credit for two hits on the night, but he also played smart for a majority of the game. The main thing was that none of his mistakes hurt his team. He committed a roughing penalty mid-way through the second period, but Philadelphia failed to even get a shot on goal during that power play. New York blocked shots all game long, and had four big ones during that particular penalty kill.
Carcillo was also flagged for a hooking penalty against Matt Read at a big moment in the third period. The Rangers turned the puck over in their own zone and it seemed Philly would reap a quality scoring chance as a result, but Carcillo made a very smart play, diving with a stick check on Read before he could pull the trigger. He was on the wrong end of a tough call by the ref, as it appeared to be a clean stick check and not a hook.
Carcillo got even moments after he sprung out of the penalty box. Brian Boyle flopped a perfect pass across in the area of a streaking Carcillo, who just got a stick on the puck to put it through the legs of Flyers goalie Ray Emery. The goal was the nail in the coffin of a decisive road victory.
Coach Vigneault got everything he wanted from and more from Carcillo. He established a physical game, while staying disciplined for the most part. Carcillo’s goal was his first in the playoffs since Apr. 26 2011 when he was a member of the Flyers. Any offense contributed by Carcillo is considered a bonus, but he certainly made a positive impact for his team. With a performance like he had in Game 3, Carcillo should be a lock for the lineup in Game 4.