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Moore back in lineup vs. Penguins

NEW YORK -- So now it's John Moore's turn.

John Moore

John Moore

#17 D
New York Rangers

2015 STATS

  • GM18
  • G0

  • A3

  • PTS3

  • +/-0

  • PIM12

Not that the New York Rangers are putting everything on the shoulders of their 24-year-old defenseman, in the latest attempt to bounce back from a disappointing loss. But as the Rangers prepare to play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, Moore will be back in the lineup, and also on the power play.

"It's an opportunity," Moore said Monday morning. "It's staring me right in the face now. It's time for me to grab it and take advantage of it."

It's another opportunity for the Rangers to show that they're still the team they think they can be, the team they have been in some games this season, but certainly not often enough. They're 11-10-4, good enough to stay out of crisis mode but bad enough that they're forever searching for answers.

"There's a lot of parts of our game I really like," coach Alain Vigneault said. "We haven't found a way to put it all together. There always seems to be one thing that stops us from getting on a roll.

"I'm confident it's going to come together, because I've seen it. I've seen it on a number of occasions, where we've looked like a real solid hockey team."

He saw it in a 5-0 win over the Penguins a month ago, in a game that followed two bad losses to Toronto and Edmonton. He saw it, to some extent, in a shootout loss four days later in Pittsburgh.

But Vigneault has also seen far too many bad losses, like the 3-2 defeat Saturday night in Detroit when the Rangers couldn't hold a two-goal lead and couldn't score on any of seven power-play opportunities, including a long two-man advantage.

"The game in Detroit, I don't think anyone was satisfied with how that turned out," Moore said.

Moore watched that game as a healthy scratch. Vigneault confirmed Monday morning that Moore will return to the lineup against the Penguins, replacing Matt Hunwick. Right wing Tanner Glass, who has missed the last four games with the mumps, is also expected to return.

Glass will likely replace Chris Kreider, suffering from neck spasms after a collision with Carl Hagelin in Sunday's practice.

The Rangers have had quite a few injuries in the early part of the season, but not enough to explain their inconsistent play. They've had their big-name players healthy for a while now, and games like the one in Detroit are still happening.

They've said plenty of times that they need to be better, individually and as a group. Moore said the same Monday.

"I know I have a lot more to give, a lot better to give," he said.

The Rangers hope to see it Monday, not just from Moore but from the entire group.

"I think, as a group, we'll be ready," Moore said.

Back in white: The Rangers will be wearing their white jerseys Monday, the second time this season they've worn them at home. It's not a matter of trying to change their fortunes, though. The Penguins simply asked to wear their alternate "Pittsburgh Gold" third jersey.

Penguin problems: The Penguins have been hit by injuries. Four players who played against the Rangers last month are on injured reserve (Beau Bennett, Pascal Dupuis, Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz), and Patric Hornqvist has also been out. But even with the injuries, the Penguins have won five of their last seven games.