PHILADELPHIA---It’ll be Henrik Lundqvist vs. Ilya Bryzgalov tonight, but the front of the Rangers lineup is unclear.
J.T. Miller, who injured his left wrist in the second period of the Panthers game, skated and declared afterward that he could shoot well, but was waiting word from coach John Tortorella. My guess: He’s in.
Because Tortorella sadi again that he liked his fourth line of Darroll Powe, Kris Newbury and Arron Asham, it appears that Taylor Pyatt could be a healthy scratch, along with D Matt Gilroy, who was last off the ice, and a heathy scratch.
Asked about Newbury, Tortorella said “a big part of his game is his bite, you’ve just got to straddle that line of not going over that and not putting us down a man. He needs to just make sure he stays with that edge.”
Here’s Rick Nash on Chris Kreider, who spent some time on that line: “He’s got speed and that big shot that everyone has to worry about… For me, I always want the puck, so if somebody’s going to chase it down, that’s great…” Nash said he felt no aftereffects from a slash in the Capitals game.
And Nash on slow starts: “When you’re not on winning streak (an early goal) allows you to play a bit more free, it brings a sense of energy, but (if it doesn’t happen) the idea is not to be deflated.”
He also had no real comment on his non-suspension for the Kopecky hit: “It’s out of my hands once it goes up to a different level.”
A quick quote from Tortorella: “In 20 of our 31,we’ve been chasing games… if you don’t get the first goal, you can’t let that affect you; you look at percentages of wins and losses, we need to be more consistent with our starts and staying with our starts. We need to move right by it and find a way to answer right away.”
Mats Zuccarello, 25, is ready to join the team late in this road trip. Rangers will practice here tomorrow and head to Ottawa. Zuccarello deal, reportedly $700,000 for the rest of this season, is all but official. The winger helped ignite the power during seven games in March last season before he fractured his wrist. He is 5-for-10 in the shootout after cashing in five of his first six chances.
Medical update: President and General Manager Glen Sather has been home for a few days, recovering from prostate cancer surgery Thursday.