Rangers forward Matt Rempe

Rangers forward Matt Rempe's composure was tested by a few frustrated Panthers players after the Game 3 overtime win.


Rangers forward Matt Rempe’s composure was tested by a few frustrated Panthers players after the Game 3 overtime win.

Whether you were filled with pleasure or ire following the New York Rangers overtime win against the Florida Panthers in Game 3, you might have missed what happened during the former’s celebrations.

Daily Faceoff’s Jonny Lazarus captured the celebration in a short clip he shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, on May 26, commenting on Alex Wennberg’s game-winning goal.

Alex Wennberg scores his first goal as a New York Ranger in the biggest moment.

#NYR lead the series 2-1 and are now 4-0 in overtime this postseason.

“Alex Wennberg scores his first goal as a New York Ranger in the biggest moment,” Lazarus wrote. “#NYR lead the series 2-1 and are now 4-0 in overtime this postseason.”

However, Bleacher Report’s Open Ice pointed out something more troubling happening on the ice, a bit separated from the area where Rangers players were celebrating the win in a huddle.

A couple of Panthers players picked off Matt Rempe as he was coming off the bench to celebrate the Rangers OT winner

(via @JLazzy23)



Matt Rempe In the Lineup For Back-to-Back Games

The Rangers ruled out third-line forward Jimmy Vesey for Game 3 nursing an “upper-body” injury listing him “week-to-week.” Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette reintroduced Kaapo Kakko back in the lineup after making him a healthy scratch for Game 2.

Rookie Rempe played just 4:02 minutes in Game 3 committing a fairly blatant penalty on Panthers’ Sam Reinhart.

Matt Rempe’s Roughing penalty against Sam Reinhart that led to Reinhart’s second power play goal.

Rempe got only three shifts in the final two periods and none in overtime, most probably because of the game being played on the road. That, in turn, allowed Florida’s coach Paul Maurice to make the last change.

That has given Laviolette pause when deploying Rempe. The coach kept Rempe on the bench more often than not in the series against the Carolina Hurricanes and now against the Panthers.

Entering Game 4, however, Laviolette will need to decide if he wants to keep Rempe in the gameday roster or if he’d be better off flipping him for another option. Considering his low playing time but how the rookie seems to boost his team’s confidence, the debate is fair to have.

Blake Wheeler Could Replace Matt Rempe in Game 4

The best option on the Rangers roster to replace Rempe in the lineup is veteran forward Blake Wheeler. Wheeler, however, hasn’t played since he suffered a leg injury in February

The team ruled out Wheeler for the remainder of the season, but he returned to skate with his teammates during the playoffs. Something similar happened to Filip Chytil, who has already appeared in a handful of games this postseason without trouble.

Wheeler is coming off a regular season in which he scored a career-low 21 points in 54 games. If he’s not quite there physically, however, Laviolette could opt to use Jonny Brodzinski.

Brodzinski played two games in the second-round series against the Hurricanes and is a more agile player than Wheeler. He can also play center, which would give Laviolette some flexibility if he has to shuffle his lineups at some point.

Brodzinski scored 19 points in the regular season appearing in 57 games, although he was a negative minus-3 during his time on ice. In the playoffs, Brodzinski has logged a little over 17 minutes of combined played time with no points scored but three shots blocked.

Kaapo Kakko “Not Happy” With Scratch

Considering Vesey’s injured status, Kakko should stay in the lineup for the time being. The former 2019 No. 2 pick spoke about his scratch following the Game 3 win at Florida.

“It’s part of the game,” Kakko told The Athletic on May 27. “Somebody’s not playing. We just need to win six more games so I’m not thinking about it.”



With Vesey out, Kakko logged 14:06 minutes of playing time. He didn’t score a point but participated in Wennberg’s overtime goal by blocking the Panthers from getting possession of the puck in the play ending with the disc kissing Florida’s net.

“I’m allowed 12 forwards and so we made a decision to put Matt [Rempe] back in the lineup,” Laviolette said about his decision of scratching Kakko for Game 2, via New York Post’s Mollie Walker. “When somebody goes into the lineup, there’s a decision that has to be made on somebody else. It wasn’t because we were banged up, I needed to make a decision.

“There’s a lot of things that factor into these decisions, we don’t take them lightly. And so we made a decision and it was Kaapo.”

Antonio Losada covers the NHL for Heavy.com. A veteran sports writer based in Spain, Antonio has covered the NBA, NFL and soccer for over 10 years, with bylines at SB Nation, FanSided, Yahoo Sports, FanGraphs, RotoBaller and more. He has also been nominated for multiple FSWA awards, including Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year. More about Antonio Losada

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