The Rangers, already hurting at center with Chris Drury (broken finger) and Vinny Prospal (knee surgery), are now a little thinner.
Artem Anisimov, the top-line center who recorded an assist and played 12:27 through two periods, blocked a shot on the outside of his right ankle and was scheduled for an MRI this morning.
Limping significantly when leaving the Garden last night, Anisimov (3-3-6 in eight games) said the pain got worse and worse, couldn’t push off and didn’t return for the third period.
Coach John Tortorella said there was more concern for Anisimov than for another injured player, Michal Rozsival. “He hyper-extended his knee,” Tortorella said of Rozsival, who left the bench with six or seven minutes left in the third period. “I think he’ll be okay.”
It certainly appears that the Rangers, with just 11 healthy forwards, will need a callup from Hartford for Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. If Rozsival can’t go, rookie Mike Sauer, a healthy scratch, could step in. Without question, Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal. Martin Biron wasn’t sharp, allowing five goals on 25 shots. “There were a couple of times where I could have made that big save that would have probably kept it tight,” Biron said.
The Thrashers 1-2-2 trap closed down on the Rangers and helped provide the 5-2 lead with 5:01 gone in the third. “You have to get pucks in behind and chase them, we weren’t doing that” said Ryan Callahan. “They executed their game plan pretty well.”
Not only that, the Thrashers didn’t allow the Rangers PP to get on the ice. They were called for just one penalty, to Dustin Byfuglein in the second period for hooking. Byfuglein scored a power play goal, the only one of the game, at 5:01 of the third for the 5-2 lead. Michael Del Zotto was off for interference.
Sean Avery was the third star of the night, with a goal and assist, his third multi-point game. He is 2-6-8 in 8 games. Ruslan Fedotenko had two assists. Todd White was 7 for 9 on faceoffs.
On the negative side, Alex Frolov had one shot and was a minus-1 in 16:56. Derek Stepan won just 2 of 10 faceoffs and was rested in the third. He looks gassed. No Ranger had more than 3 shots. 11 Thrashers had at least one point.