Rangers’ Matt Rempe returns to lineup for Game 2 vs. Panthers

The Hockey Central panel discusses the Florida Panthers' win over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, including the Rangers' lack of jump in the series opener and Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout performance.

After being shut out in Game 1 by the Florida Panthers, the New York Rangers are trying to inject some energy back into their lineup.

Matt Rempe, who was scratched in the series opener, will make his Eastern Conference Final debut on Friday.

The six-foot-seven, 241-pound, rookie has only averaged 6:18 of ice time in his seven playoff games this post-season, but is incredibly popular with the Rangers faithful due to his bruising and energetic style of play. Some fans even started a “Free Rempe” chant during Game 1.

New York is also 14-2 at home when Rempe is in the lineup.

In his seven playoff games, the Calgary native has notched one goal.

With Rempe coming in, Kaapo Kakko will come out of the lineup as a healthy scratch. It’s the first time Kakko has been a healthy scratch since Game 6 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Final.

Kakko has one goal and one assist in 11 games this post-season.

Veteran forward Blake Wheeler was also on the ice for warmups, but will not make his post-season debut. Wheeler hasn’t played since he was injured on Feb. 15, but said he was available to play in the Eastern Conference Final.

You can watch the Rangers try and even up the series against the Panthers live on Sportsnet and Sportsnet+ at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

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