GAME DAY REPORT: New York Rangers better be ready to face bone-crushing defenseman.

Montreal powerfull defenseman back in their lineup

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New York Rangers better be ready to face bone-crushing defenseman

When the New York Rangers take to the ice at the Bell Centre in Montreal tonight to take on the Montreal Canadiens for game 5 of their opening round playoff series, they may have to contend with a more physical lineup.

Louis Jean of TVA Sports in Montreal is reporting that Habs defenseman Alexei Emelin may return to his team’s lineup for tonight’s game.

The 30 year-old native of Togliatti, Russia took to the ice this morning for the Habs’ gameday skate and didn’t seem to experience any pain or discomfort. He’s been out of the lineup with a lower body injury since April 5th, but seems to now be nearing full health. In 76 games this season, Emelin has produced 10 points and 71 penalty minutes. He’s a 6’2”, 216 lb, bruising blue liner known for his physical play and defensive ability.

If Emelin does in fact return to action tonight, he’ll likely be deployed on the team’s third defensive pairing with either Nathan Beaulieau or Nikita Nesterov.