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Vigneault: Rangers top players ‘don’t have it right now’

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Three

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers hits Steve Ott #92 of the Montreal Canadiens after the whistle during the second period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Prior to Game 3 on Sunday, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault called out Chris Kreider for being “ordinary” in the first two games of the series.

Vigneault’s message didn’t really seem to have much of an impact on Kreider (or any other Ranger for that matter), as New York was dominated for most of the game.

As you can imagine, the Rangers coach’s patience with his top players is thinning. Instead of singling out Kreider, he decided to send a direct message to all of his top forwards after that ugly Game 3 loss.

“Right now, our best line is our fourth line,” Vigneault said, per the Bergen Record. “Our top players need to find their game. They obviously don’t have it right now.”

He’s got a point. Tanner Glass, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast have given an honest effort in each game. In their only victory of the series, it was Glass that scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win.

Meanwhile, the top line of Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan have combined to score one goal and one assist in the first three games of the series.

The other issue, is that they don’t seem to be very good at home. It’s been a problem throughout the season and it’s continued into the playoffs.

“I think it’s important we start with ourselves and not look at what they are doing,” Henrik Lundqvist said after the game. “Yes, they are a good team. We have to give more at home, in the playoffs, or we aren’t going to win. We need more, it’s as simple as that.”

The Rangers can’t afford to go back to the Bell Center down 3-1, so they’ll need to put together an incredible effort to make up for the stinker they delivered last night.

Game 4 will be held at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.