Derick Brassard smiled and laughed but he did not divulge whether he would be able to play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
“That’s a good question,” Brassard said after the Rangers practice Wednesday, when asked if he felt well enough to play.
The Rangers center missed Game 2 after being steamrolled by a Mike Weaver check in the first period of Game 1. Brassard only played 35 seconds in the 7-2 rout.
Brassard noted the decision to have him sit out Game 2 was a collective consensus from “the medical staff,” and coaches. He is expected to be a game-time decision for Game 3.
“I want to get back out there and help out,” Brassard said. “It’s really frustrating.”
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Brassard said he will participate in the morning skate Thursday, before meeting with coaches and the medical staff to determine if he can go.
Tokarski up for Game 3
Following the Canadiens’ practice in Brossard, Quebec, head coach Michel Therrien announced Dustin Tokarski will start Game 3.
Tokarski made 27 saves in his first Stanley Cup playoff game, as he started in place of Carey Price, who was lost for the series following a collision with Chris Kreider in Game 1.
What isn’t known is which line Thomas Vanek will skate on. Therrien instructed reporters “not to read too much” into the fact Vanek skated on the fourth line. But Vanek did not have a shot on goal in Game 2, and took a two-minute minor for slashing Ryan McDonagh’s hand while in the offensive zone and the Canadiens on a power play.
“He’s a veteran,” Max Pacioretty said of Vanek. “He doesn’t need [a pep talk]. He’s contributed to this team’s success in the playoffs. He knows it. We all talk. Behind closed doors we’re all having a good time and we all want to help this team win.”
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.