On to Ottawa, eh?
As if the pressure wasn’t on the backsliding Blueshirts before, Friday’s game in Canada’s capitol looms extremely large, with a pointless three-game homestand behind them during which the now eighth-place Rangers scored four goals. The last time they were in eighth place was Nov. 13.
“We have no option to be frustrated,” said Sean Avery, whose goal at 3:13 gave the Rangers the opening score for only the fourth time in 12 games. “We just have to win the game tomorrow.”
With the importance of getting points paramount, it appears almost certain that Henrik Lundqvist will start his 11th consecutive game in Kanata.
“It feels like we’re chasing and we never get there,” said Lundqvist. “But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It’s frustrating for everybody. We have to stay confident.” But Tortorella said he thought players were pressing.
“We had a couple great deflections but Theodore made some great saves. Early on I thought he was fighting the puck, then he settled in. We can talk about themes…(but) we have to find a way to score more than one, more than two, and make a big play at a key time….We score two goals and you never know what happens. We put Hank in a spot where any mistake costs us. It’d be nice to have a cushion sometime.”
For some reason, Marian Gaborik, who has been experiencing headaches after skating, is on the one-game trip. The Rangers will not skate in the morning.
Marc Staal (21:38 TOI) said his knee felt “better than expected” but his stamina on shifts after not playing in eight days was lacking…Ruslan Fedotenko, in his first game back after missing two, played 12:14 and was a minus 1, with ne shot…Brandon Dubinsky, who had eight shots on goal, said: “I am relied upon. I definitely have to feel the pressure. I have to find a way to use the pressure and elevate my game rather than let that wear on me.”…Something has to give. I have to score a big goal for us.”….Brandon Prust, who doesn’t seem like the same player, was on ice for 11:19 and was a minus-2 with no shots…Matt Gilroy was the only other Ranger without a shot….Brian Boyle had five hits…