Rookie Derek Stepan and Erik Christensen scored in the shootout as the Rangers edged the Ottawa Senators 5-4 last night at Madison Square Garden to raise their preseason record to 4-1, but the loss of Vinny Prospal for several weeks to a right knee problem overshadowed the win.
“We’re going to keep him off the ice for a couple weeks,” said coach John Tortorella, “then put him on the ice and see how it reacts. He’s frustrated. It’s not so much as pain, we’re just going to try and rest him.” Tortorella said the damage wasn’t structural.
Prospal, 34, was the Rangers second-leading scorer last season, with 20 goals and 58 points. He was scheduled to center the No. 1 line for the first time, but his right knee, the one on which he had arthroscopic surgery Dec. 29, flared up after yesterday’s practice and was sent for an exam. Tortorella spoke to the doctors after the game; Prospal was not available for interviews.