Henrik Lundvist, who was knocked flying by the Canadiens' Benoit Pouliot on Friday ngiht, will make his 17th straight start tonight. "He's set to go....it was just a little stiffness, he's fine," coach John Tortorella said a few minutes ago.
But Tortorella announced that All-Star defensman Marc Staal was out with an "undisclosed" injury that he would not specify as anything but a "body" injury. He said that with the playoffs approaching, he would not be as definitive as he has been all season on the details of injuries to prevent teams from targeting banged-up players.
On Friday, Staal received three stitches near the eye after Dan Girardi's stick inadvertently caught him, but that wouldn't be something teams would target. Staal did not skate in the team's brief practice before flying here yesterday, leading to speculation that his left knee, which was twisted against Carolina on Feb. 22, an injury which caused him to miss three games, was sore.
If that's the case, the decision may have been made to rest it and received treatment for three full days (yesterday, today and tomorrow) and that will perhaps allow him to play Tuesday against the Panthers at home. Staal did tell me on the West Coast trip that the knee, which is taped, was not 100 percent.
Matt Gilroy will sub for Staal against the Pens. Sean Avery is the healthy forward scratch again, so same lineup up front for Rangers this afternoon.