40° Good Afternoon
40° Good Afternoon

Pre-game quotes from Phoenix


                  Sorry for firing a blank on that last one, but as you know, Chad Johnson is in with Henrik Lundqvist down with the flu.  Lundqvist looked fine after practice yesterday, and the coach told me he would start, but things changed here.
                   Johnson, 23 who has dressed as Lundqvist’s backup for 20 games this season and appeared in three (including two starts), is 0-1-1 with a 2.58 GAA and a .908 save percentage. Acquired from Pittsburgh for a fifth-round pick during the June 27 draft in Montreal, Johnson lost 2-1 in a shootout in Atlanta on Jan. 7 and 4-1 in St. Louis on Jan. 16.  He also relieved Lundqvist in a 6-0 trouncing by Philadelphia on Dec. 30.

                       This didn't change overnight. Erik Christensen, who was claimed off waivers from Anaheim on Dec. 2, was moved to right wing to play with center Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky, a line that skated together in practice.
                       "He might start on the wing, he's played both left and right, I think he feels more comfortable on the right. Dru feels more comfortable in the middle," said coach John Tortorella. "I want to get Christensen in a position where he can makes some plays, I don't want to put him down on the fourth line...I think Anisimov's line has been the most consistent.
  Higgins, he's had a helluva time scoring goals, but he's done a lot of good things on the walls. Him and Ryan Callahan are two of our best forecheckers, he helps those two guys get pucks and keep pucks, and those two guys (Lisin and Anisimov) seem to play very well together."

                      Callahan, Tortorella said will remain on the No. 1 line as the right wing. "He tracks down pucks, he's been one of our better forwards, we're just trying to get something going with the other two guys, Vinny and Gabby, see if they get themselves going. Although they only scored one goal (last game), they had chances."
                     Left wing, Gaborik's off-wing "doesn't bother him," Tortorella said. "He's just got to remember to come back in the end zone on the left side, he very rarely stays on the wing the whole time, we allow him to try to find some areas of the ice to make and read plays. He feels better cutting to the middle from the left side, we'd like to see him do more of that.  I thought he skated very well (last game), brought pucks to the net, he's till a little between in certain areas." 
                   Well, Gabby hasn't scored in five games, that's one thing.

                                   We'll be back when the puck drops in 45 minutes....


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