GREENBURGH, N.Y. - For Mats Zuccarello, being the first Norwegian-born player to reach the Stanley Cup Final means more than individual accomplishment or enjoying other finals growing up in Oslo. With his play, Zuccarello, 26, wants to be a role model for youngsters back home.
"I watched my first Stanley Cup Final in 1996, Colorado and Florida," said Zuccarello, who is the seventh Norwegian to play in the NHL. "I remember waking up and before going to school, seeing Uwe Krupp score in the third overtime. I didn't think it was live. I watched bits and pieces as a teenager, because the games are in the middle of the night, like Colorado in 2001, because that was my favorite team, against New Jersey, the last game."
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Skiing, soccer and hockey are among the most popular sports in Norway, and Zuccarello, who twice played for Team Norway in the Winter Olympics, said the Cup always gets attention.
"Some people, like my family and friends, are really excited," he said, adding that a group will be in New York for Games 3 and 4. "It's a huge opportunity for me, but we haven't won anything yet. I would like to be a role model for the young kids, create some more buzz around hockey and hope it can help. But if I was Norwegian or not, I'm happy to be playing in the Final."
Talbot sits again
Backup goaltender Cam Talbot did not practice for the second day and remains day-to-day, as David LeNeveu and Henrik Lundqvist were in the nets. But coach Alain Vigneault said Talbot would be on the flight to Los Angeles, as would injured forward J.T. Miller, who didn't skate with the team but is expected to practice Tuesday. Talbot, who was 12-6-1 during the season, relieved Lundqvist in Game 5 and is believed to have suffered some type of injury during his 26 minutes on ice. Miller was shoved by Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov in Game 4 of that series and slid hard into the goal post, appearing to jam his right shoulder.
Rangers sign two
The Rangers signed goalie MacKenzie Skapski and defenseman Calle Andersson to entry-level deals. Skapski, 19, who was selected in the sixth round of last summer's draft, was 28-20-4 with a 2.70 GAA and .916 save percentage for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. Andersson, 20, is 6-2, 211 pounds and was a fourth-round pick in 2012.