EDMONTON - Rangers rookie forward Dane Byers was suspended for tonight's game against the Oilers and coach John Tortorella was fined $10,000 for a third-period altercation in Tuesday's 4-1 loss in Vancouver.
Byers, 23, received an instigator penalty with 1:10 left in regulation and NHL rules call for a fine and automatic suspension. Tortorella was fined as the offending player's coach.
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After practice at Rexall Place Wednesday, Tortorella declined to comment on the issue. "I have no reaction to it," he said.
Byers, who boarded then fought Canucks forward Trevor Glass, wasn't pleased with the suspension. The scrap, Byers said, "was part of the game . . . emotions get the better of you. I thought I had given him enough time to get up, but he knew we were going to go. He had been running his mouth all along and it was 4-1."
The tougher part, said Byers, who was fined $2,590.67, is that his parents were driving from Saskatchewan and that his uncle, who lives here, had gotten eight tickets for tonight's game.
Instead, Enver Lisin, who skated for the first time since blocking a first-period shot with his left instep on Sunday, will likely return. "The swelling is down a lot," Lisin said.
The Rangers (9-6-1) have scored five goals in the last four games. The Vinny Prospal-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik line will be reunited, Tortorella said, because of their play early in the season and because rookie center Artem Anisimov deserves more minutes. Against the Canucks, he said, "I liked the line with [Chris] Higgins, AA and [Ales] Kotalik."
Notes & quotes: G Henrik Lundqvist and Gaborik were being treated and didn't practice. Lundqvist has a stiff right thigh and Steve Valiquette, who hasn't played since a 7-3 loss to the Sharks on Oct. 19, could be in the net against the Oilers . . . Sean Avery said he was jabbed with Shane O'Brien's stick "two or three times" from the bench during a third-period melee in Vancouver and smiled when he was told that O'Brien was expected to face a disciplinary hearing. "I'm surprised they haven't called me," said Avery, "for being in the area."