Henrik Lundqvist is back between the pipes tonight because Rangers coach John Tortorella wants him “ to play through” his inconsistencies and “get in a flow”. Moreover, "we don't want him sitting on" the bad goal-line shot by Rick Nash. That shot should “never” go in, Torts says, but that he is confident Lundqvist will "battle back tonight...We were planning on playing him in these two games anyway."
Several writers believed that Martin Biron was going to play one of these three games (in Ottawa, Columbus and tonight), but Tortorella said of Lundqvist's on and off play: "We tried to get him working through it when I was playing Marty. I still don't think it's at a level it needs to be, we're trying to have him play through this. He shouldn't be tired, he's had plenty of rest, and he will, we're trying to get him into a flow."
Back to the Nash shot: "Never, never, and Hank knows that too. Not below the goal line and it can't go in for us, especially at the time. That's the concern I have about it, the timing of those type of goals. Hank will bounce back."
On to the injury front: Derek Boogaard (right shoulder sprain from fight with Matt Carkner) stayed home. "His shoulder's pretty sore, he won;t even be in the building, it's not a day to day thing, it's recurring."
Steve Eminger, who missed last night's game with a sore back, was "much better this morning. If he can play, Gilly (Matt Gilroy) will come out." He received treatment and "we'll see how warmups go."
Gilroy is clearly the 7th D, and Tortorella noted the differences between he and Michael Del Zotto. "DZ's a lefty and we use him in different situations than Gilly. It was a quick game in Columbus, I thought Gilly struggled a little with the speed . Not that he played that badly...It's that If we sit out Gilly, we feel the six are above him."
Chris Drury (broken index finger) will be X-rayed again tonight and we should have a post-game update. Drury, who has been skating and passing, but is careful with shooting, is hoping to be cleared for contact.
Same lines will start tonight. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi were matched against Nash, but expect to see more of Girardi matched up against Alex Ovechkin tonight. "You have to consider them similiar type players, Nash can beat you bulling to the net, Ovechkin can do that they're all over the ice, they're willing to hit, they're willing to take a hit, that's what I've always respected about Ovechkin, Nash is the same way, they're hard players. These are two quality players. Our whole team, has to be team defense against a team like Washington...We're going to have our hands full with their power play tonight. It hasn't been dead on but we just can't be in the box a whole bunch tonight. They have a bunch of dangerous people."
Mike Green (flu) out for the Caps