Matt Rempe’s physicality not enough to spur Rangers in Game 5 loss

Matt Rempe was back in the Rangers’ lineup for Game 5 after being benched in both Game 3 and 4 of their playoff series against Carolina.

He made his presence felt with his physicality, but it wasn’t enough in the decisive third period as the Rangers collapsed in a 4-1 loss at Madison Square Garden to extend the series.

Although Rempe took the league by storm earlier in the season, he found his ice time slipping even against the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.

Rangers center Matt Rempe exchanges words with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns in the second period. JASON SZENES FOR THE NEW YORK POST

That continued in the first two games against Carolina before he didn’t play the next two games.

But with the series back at the Garden on Monday — and with the Rangers having a chance to advance to the Eastern Conference Final — Rempe returned to action.

At the team’s morning skate on Monday, Rempe said coach Peter Laviolette told him not to be discouraged by his lack of ice time.

“Conversations have been great,” Rempe said. “Just [Laviolette] telling me, ‘Don’t read into it. Don’t think too much and stuff like that; just keep working.’ ”

That is what Rempe did on Monday. He spent 6:01 on the ice.

He used his physicality to make his presence felt and jawed with Tony DeAngelo, but the Rangers couldn’t produce enough chances and then were dominated in the final period.

Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo and New York Rangers center Matt Rempe are separated by referee Dan O’Rourke in the first period. JASON SZENES FOR THE NEW YORK POST

Whether Rempe remains in the lineup for Game 6 will be one of the decisions Laviolette will have to make as the Rangers try to shake off back-to-back losses after they opened the playoffs with seven straight wins.

“I’ve been used to my minutes,” Rempe said prior to the game. “I think I’ve been pretty consistent here. … If I haven’t had a shift in a while, all the more reason to try to make an impact on your shift. I get my minutes and I’ve got to make the most of those minutes. I’m super happy to get those minutes. It’s an honor. When I do that, I know my game, I know what I’m going to do. And it’s not like if I was playing more, I’m not going to take a shift off. I’m going to go do everything I can every single shift I get.”

Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei tries to check New York Rangers center Matt Rempe. JASON SZENES FOR THE NEW YORK POST

The 6-foot-8 ¹/₂ Rempe appeared in 17 games during the regular season and has played in six playoff games this postseason.

He had 71 penalty minutes, three ejections and a four-game suspension during the regular season.

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