Greetings from the ACC.
Henrik Lundqvist will play in his fourth back to back of the season. He has started on consecutive days 57 times in his career, and is 36-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA , .935 save percentage and six shutouts in the second game.
“He’s had plenty of rest,” coach John Tortorella said. “We need to get Hank in some sort of flow.”
On Oct. 27, in the home opener after the Western Canada trip, Lundqvist lost 4-2 to the Leafs at the Garden, with Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto scoring. On Dec. 5, Lundqvist lost 4-2 again, with Artem Anisimov scoring and Marian Gaborik netting one on the power play. On Jan 14, Biron posted a 3-0 shutout, making 20 saves. Rupp, Boyle and Stepan scored.
In the three games, the power play was 1-10, the penalty-kill, 9 for 10.
With Mats Zuccarello sidelined with a fractured left wrist, veteran Ruslan Fedotenko returned to the lineup after being benched for two games.
Fedotenko, who has played in 65 games, has eight goals and eight assists, but only one of each in his last 16 games.
“You need to defend and you need to try to create some offense. We ask all of our players to do that,” said coach John Tortorella said before the game. “It’s part of being a player staying in the lineup. I know Feds very well. He’s a good player, has been a good player for us. This is the time of year, right now, that he needs to find both back, his defensive game and his offensive game, and I believe he will.”
Fedotenko, 33, played for Tortorella in Tampa’s Stanley Cup championship season of 2003-04, and during the Penguins’ Cup run in 2008-09, Fedotenko had 7 goals and 14 points in 24 games.
Zuccarello, who was on ice for all five power play goals in the seven-game homestand, and broke his wrist blocking a shot by Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold on Friday, was not with the team. A team spokesman said he did not know when surgery was scheduled.
Biron last played on March 13, a 4-2 defeat of Carolina. He could return next week when the Rangers play their final back-to-back of the season in Minnesota and Winnipeg. Defensemen Anton Stralman and Steve Eminger and forward John Scott were scratched.
Boston College forward Chris Kreider, the Rangers No. 1 draft pick in 2006, scored an early goal against Air Force in the first game of the NCAA Tournament for the top-seeded Eagles today.