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Rangers sit on Rempe for Game 6 while Brodzinski gets the call

SUNRISE, Fla. – Facing elimination in the Eastern Conference finals in Game 6 Saturday night at Amerant Bank Arena, Rangers coach Peter Laviolette shook things up, bringing Jonny Brodzinski into the lineup to replace Matt Rempe, and then to radically shake up his line combinations.

“He’s been good for us all year,” Laviolette said at Brodzinski’s morning skate. “He brings speed (and he is) kind of a multi-functional player. He had a good year.”

Brodzinski started at center on the fourth line, while Barclay Goodrow moved to left wing on the third line, with center Filip Chytil and right wing Kaapo Kakko. Alex Wennberg, normally the center on the third line, moved up to play right winger on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

Brodzinski, 30, played 57 regular-season games after being called up from AHL Hartford in November, scoring six goals and 19 points. But when the playoffs started, Laviolette opted to go with the 6-8 Rempe as his 12th forward, instead of Brodzinski.

However, Rempe only played 2 minutes and 43 seconds in Game 5, including no shifts in the third period (and four for the entire game), so Laviolette eliminated him for Game 6.

Brodzinski had previously played two games, both in the second round against Carolina, with no points and an average ice time of 8:47.

“I couldn’t choose when I’m in the lineup when I’m not, so I’m just excited to get this opportunity,” Brodzinski said after the morning skate. “It’s a big moment, so I’m just excited to play.”