Slumping Rangers make no roster moves as they prepare for Hurricanes, Devils

Chris Kreider leaves the ice after being hit Chris Kreider leaves the ice after being hit by Brooks Orpik #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final minute of play at Madison Square Garden. (Jan. 20, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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The Rangers, losers of three straight games in regulation and with only two goals in that span, appear to be standing pat with their roster for Monday night's home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

For their first game after a 1-3 road trip through Washington, Buffalo, Winnipeg and Pittsburgh, the Rangers did not call up anyone from the AHL or move to sign Mats Zuccarello, the Norwegian winger who played in the KHL this season but remains property of the Rangers.

Chris Kreider, who was sent down to the AHL's Connecticut Whale on Feb. 28 when Rick Nash returned after missing four games with injuries, has six goals in eight games and has scored in his last two. The Rangers, in need of some offensive help, could summon the former Boston College star at some point. The Whale does not play again until Friday.

When the 21-year-old left wing was demoted, however, coach John Tortorella said, "I think Chris has a lot to learn about the game and a lot to learn about being a pro, so this isn't a shock to me. He has a lot of attributes, but me playing him four minutes or seven minutes isn't going to help him."

Kreider (1-1-2 in 11 games this season) also was shipped to the Whale on Feb. 15 but was recalled after one game.

With back-to-back games -- the second is Tuesday in New Jersey -- it is possible that backup Martin Biron will start for the Rangers, who had Sunday off after a week away. Tortorella then could turn to Henrik Lundqvist, who has an outstanding record (25-12-5) against the Devils.

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It would be the fifth start for Biron (2-1-1, 2.18 GAA), who last played in the last Rangers win, 4-1 in Washington on March 10.

Carolina (15-11-1) is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points; the Devils are in seventh (13-10-6, 32). The Rangers (13-12-2, 28) and Hurricanes have played 27 games, the Devils 29.

Top-pair defenseman Marc Staal, who was injured when a deflected puck struck him near the right eye against Philadelphia on March 5, remains out indefinitely. The Rangers are 2-4 in his absence.

Two of his brothers, Eric and Jordan, play for Carolina, which has lost two straight. Dan Ellis and Justin Peters are sharing the goaltending duties. Cam Ward, who sprained his left knee March 3, is expected to be out for up to six more weeks.

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