Matt Rempe healthy scratch for Rangers against Jets after completing suspension

NHL: St. Louis Blues at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers won’t mess with a winning formula when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. So, Matt Rempe won’t play after serving a four-game suspension.

The Rangers have won five of their past six games, including a 3-1-0 stretch with Rempe out of the lineup. The rugged rookie was banned four games for elbowing New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Sigenthaler on March 11 at The Garden and is eligible to return to game action.

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette did say that he plans to use each of his 13 forwards over the final 14 games of the regular season to “keep playoff ready.” But coming off a 5-2 win against the Islanders on Sunday when the bottom six accounted for three goals, Laviolette opted to go with the same lineup against the Jets.

“Just coming off the last game and the way we played, specifically how that bottom six played, I just felt it was best to come back with the same lineup,” Laviolette said after the morning skate Tuesday.


Rangers to scratch Matt Rempe, keep bottom six intact against Jets

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Laviolette has juggled the bottom six the past two games and is intrigued with using Will Cuylle on a checking fourth line with Barclay Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey down the stretch and possibly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The coach also liked how Jonny Brodzinski played when bumped up to the third line with Kaapo Kakko and Alex Wennberg on Sunday.

“I think Jonny goes up, brings some speed to the line with Wennberg and Kaapo,” Laviolette said Sunday. “I thought they were excellent.”

Brodzinski is the likely candidate to come out of the lineup whenever Rempe is reinserted. Rempe is a fourth-line forward, though, so either Vesey or Cuylle would move up to the third line in his return.

That won’t be an issue Tuesday, however.

Rempe had played 10 straight games before his suspension. The popular 6-foot-8 forward has a goal and an assist to go along with 54 penalty minutes, which already is tops on the Rangers. He’s averaging 5:38 in ice time but did log a high of 11:08 against the St. Louis Blues in the game before he received a match penalty against the Devils.

“I do think Rempe has played well, brought certain things to our team,” Laviolette said. “He’s played a physical role, he’s played the game well and he’ll be back in there.”

The Rangers will have one lineup change Tuesday. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel will make his Rangers debut, replacing the injured Ryan Lindgren. Ruhwedel was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins ahead of the NHL trade deadline and was scratched six straight games.

Lindgren is out a few weeks with a lower-body injury he sustained against the Islanders when battling J.G. Pageau behind the Rangers net.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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