Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto puts Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks...

Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto puts Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik into the boards in the first period. (April 3, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Hello from New Jersey....

Beyond the obvious: first line, power play, which we covered here this morning...

Watch for:

1. Players to try wraparounds with the new shallower nets. The rounder skirt on either side is gone.

2. Aim for the slightly larger five-hole when goalies are down or pushing post-to-post. Pads are close to two inches shorter at the top.

3. Linesmen will call the hybrid icing rule (if a d-man beats a forward to the dot, whistle) in an attempt to avoid injuries on the end boards.


In the offseason, we discussed the need for a righty defenseman here often, and Alain Vigneault is testing lefty Michael Del Zotto on his off-side with Marc Staal. Along the boards, DZ will be on his backhand, but have center ice on his strong side.


MIA? Only so much space on the roster. Expect to see Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, Benoit Pouliot, Taylor Pyatt, Anton Stralman, Dylan McIlrath, Josh Nicholls, Danny Syvret, Conor Allen, Martin Biron and Johan Hedberg, plus some others, against the Flyers tomorrow in Philly.


In goal, No. 33, Cam Talbot, who will relieve Henrik Lundqvist. Played behind a sub-par defense in Hartford last season and managed a 2.63 GAA and .918 save percentage. Made 30 or more saves in 23 AHL games.

Check in later, puck drops at 7 or so, televised on MSG...

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