But the speedy Russian right wing, called “Ringo” by his teammates because of his resemblance to the former drummer, hasn’t been pounding out the points since he suffered a fractured bone in his left foot, apparently while blocking a Bruins shot Nov. 1.
The 23-year-old played through the injury and just recently has been at full strength. But in the interim, he has been relegated to fourth-line duty and very little ice time, averaging less than 9 minutes a game in the past 10 games.
On Nov. 28, Lisin, who was criticized for his lackluster defensive play, dressed but did not play in an 8-3 rout by the Penguins.
“The player has to listen, understand and apply,” said Tortorella, whose sentence to the doghouse is hard to overcome.
After he scored his first goal in 11 games against the Thrashers in Atlanta on Thursday, Lisin, who had five goals and six assists, curled up in his cubicle, arms around his knees, in the visitors’ locker room, and was much less affable than he has been all season.
“Everybody wants more ice time,” said Lisin, who played just seven shifts and 5:16 in Atlanta. “I’m happy because we’re winning.
“I just have to go out and keep playing hard.”
Lisin, who scored 13 goals in 48 games last season and was swapped for Lauri Korpikoski, gets another opportunity Saturday afternoon against the Boston Bruins, who were edged by the Rangers, 3-2, on Monday and will face Henrik Lundqvist on two days rest after he started a career-high 17 straight games.
The Rangers (21-17-6) have points in 10 of the last 11 (7-1-3) and have climbed to seventh place in the East, but did not practice Friday after arriving from Atlanta at 3:30 a.m. A long-planned skate at Agganis Arena at Boston University, where Chris Drury and Matt Gilroy starred, was canceled. The Rangers had previously attempted to book a little ice time at Fenway Park, where the rink used for the Winter Classic remains, but a college doubleheader Saturday made that impractical, a Boston University spokesman said.