Kreider said benching was right decision


Rangers rookie Chris Kreider had no qualms with being benched in Saturday's Game 4 loss.

"Obviously, it was the right decision," Kreider said.

The rookie, who has two goals in the playoffs including the game-winner in Game 1, had perhaps the toughest game of his career, which began just weeks ago.

He had a turnover that resulted in Washington's first goal, on a play when he said he had good intentions, but he didn't play the percentages and ultimately made a move that was too risky. On the second goal, he said he wasn't "swivel-headed" and lost his man and didn't help defensively.

He only played one shift in the third period and played just 7:34 overall, his lowest total since Game 5 against Ottawa. He admitted that the benching was tough to take, but hopes to learn from it.

Rangers coach John Tortorella expects Kreider to bounce back after the rough outing.

"For all our kids, there are going to be bumps in the road," Tortorella said after the team's optional practice. "His is more magnified because he's right in the middle of the playoffs. I have full confidence he's going to be able to handle that, learn from a couple of mistakes and be better for it. He's got a good head on his shoulder."

Tortorella said there were struggles away from the puck for Kreider Saturday, and he believes that it might have helped the 21-year-old to just watch. He added, "we'll see where we go with him next game."

"I'm still extremely engaged, ready to go if he calls my name," Kreider said. "Same time, trying to soak in everything and any time you can sit back and watch you're going to learn to something. Just being able to be around it is a pretty good learning experience."