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Live from MSG: Prospal surgery, another "A" coming, the PK

 

 

As the Avalanche finish their road trip tonight, the Rangers are aiming for a win before they leave for what may be a chippy rematch with the Leafs in Toronto on Thursday and a visit to TD Banknorth Garden in Boston on Saturday.

They will face the Avalanche, whom they have defeated in the last two meetings, with juggled lines, except for one:  Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahn. The others: Frolov-Stepan-Fedotenko; Avery-Boyle-Prust, White-Christensen-Boogaard. We'll see...

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Before the game, the team announced that Vinny Prospal, the Rangers’ leading scorer last season with 58 points, underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right knee and will be sidelined six to eight weeks.
 

The 35-year-old forward has been resting and receiving treatment for the inflamed knee since Sept. 24. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee last December.
 

“It’s a little better than expected,” said coach John Tortorella. “We just weren’t sure and I don’t think they (the doctors) were. Now they know what they feel really was causing the problem and we have a bit of a timetable.”

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In Prospal’s absence---and without captain Chris Drury (broken finger) for six weeks, a second alternate captain could be named soon. “I may,” said Tortorella. “We’ll get through this game, I have an idea of who I would like, we’ll talk about it as a staff, a team, and see where we go with it.”

Ryan Callahan, named last season, is a current alternate captain. Michal Rozsival also wore an “A” at times last season due to injuries.

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Through three games, the Rangers penalty kill was 13 for 17, ranked 24th in the league. The Blueshirts have allowed at least one power-play goal per game, but Tortorella was more concerned about the infractions themselves rather than the penalty-killers’ performance.
 

“I think it’s been good. I’m not sure where we are percentage-wise, but we’ve been down too much. We stuff them (the Maple Leafs were 0-for-6 before Phil Kessel’s OT winner) the last game and we still give them a seventh in the overtime. I still think we did the right things to start that, the 4 on 3, but it’s been pretty good. We just can’t be in the box as much as we have been.”
 

Before tonight, the Rangers were 2 for 12 on the power play, tied for 12th in the league, with both goals coming against the Islanders. They were 0-for-8 combined against the Sabres and Leafs.

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Rookie defenseman Michael Sauer was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. The Rangers have the second-youngest defense corps in the league behind Los Angeles.


 

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