The injury news for the Rangers is not good. Already out is Brandon Dubinsky, who will be gone at least three weeks with his broken hand. Andrew Gross is reporting that also out is Chris Drury, as the Rangers are taking the safe route with his concussion, as they should. Henrik Lundqvist is a maybe, as his wonky groin (looks like us fans were worried about the wrong groin) may keep him out of action for tomorrow’s game. Enver Lisin is going to play, even though he broke his left foot. Having trouble keeping up?
This is just terrible news for the Rangers. Losing one of Dubinsky or Drury is tough, because the Rangers aren’t that deep of a team, but losing both is going to take its toll on the team. Lisin’s foot is troublesome, but not overly concerning, as he will be playing through it. The worst news here is Lundqvist, as the Rangers can ill afford to have him out for a while. As much as the Rangers will depend on Marian Gaborik to carry the team, if Lundqvist goes down long term, we are looking at a lottery pick.
The lines, as per Gross, for tomorrow:
Speaking of lines, here’s what the Rangers showed today:
Lisin-Vinny Prospal-Marian Gaborik
Christopher Higgins-Artem Anisimov-Ales Kotalik
Sean Avery-Brian Boyle-Ryan Callahan
Donald Brashear, Aaron Voros, Dane Byers.
There are commas instead of hyphens with the fourth-liners because none of them are likely to play center. Instead, if Tortorella decides to use his fourth line for the occasional shift, he’ll most likely double shift one of his three centers.
The defense pairings, as usual, remain the same:
Matt Gilroy-Wade Redden
Michael Del Zotto-Michal Rozsival
Marc Staal-Dan Girardi.
It makes sense to just substitute the fourth line in. If the centers need a rest, both Higgins and Avery can play a shift or two a game at center to compensate.
I guess the silver lining is that Ilya Kovalchuk will not be playing tomorrow night, so it’s going to have to be Rich Peverley and Nik Antropov that do the damage against either Lundqvist or Steve Valliquette.