Rick Nash to miss second game Thursday in Ottawa
Web linksSteve Zipay's Blue Notes
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Rick Nash will miss his second straight game Thursday night when the Rangers play at Ottawa.
Nash, who is suffering from an undisclosed injury, did not practice Wednesday and the team announced that he would not make the trip to Ottawa. The door has been left open, however, for Nash to rejoin the team for Saturday's game in Montreal.
Nash, who is the Rangers' leading scorer with 12 points, last played Sunday against the Capitals. He practiced with the team Monday, so it was a bit of a stunner when John Tortorella told reporters before Tuesday's game that he would not be on the ice against Montreal.
The Rangers struggled offensively without him, losing 3-1 to the Canadiens in a game that Tortorella called "one of the worst hockey games I've been involved in." The team is hoping to bounce back tonight against Ottawa, even though Nash won't be with them.
"Of course, we miss him. But it is what it is," said Marian Gaborik, who with Nash out has moved to right wing on the team's first line, where he is playing with left wing Carl Hagelin and center Derek Stepan. "Whoever is out there, we just have to take our game to the next level each of us. I don't know how long he's going to be out, but we have to find a way to play without him."
Tortorella repeatedly has declined to reveal the nature of Nash's injury, telling one reporter that it was "none of your business." There has been some conjecture, however, that it stems from a hard hit that he took last week in Boston. Nash's head hit the glass when he was checked into the boards by Bruins forward Milan Lucic.
Tortorella did not give an update on Nash after practice Wednesday. He said that his team would have to get some production from other players.
"You just have to play," Tortorella said. "Nash is a big part of our team and has been a very good player for our team. But he's out. We just can't have one line going. We need to get more out of other guys consistently -- with Nash out or not."