Happy holidays and greetings from the Garden as Rangers prepare to host the Lightning after a three-day break.
Marian Gaborik, who skipped Monday's practice with a sore groin and is sidelined tonight, is likely to play against the Islanders on Monday, coach John Tortorella said.
"We've got a few days (off), I think he should be ready to play by then," Tortorella said. The right wing, who missed his 14th game, received acupuncture and several other treatments today. "He's just trying to get it taken care of. I just think it's been a couple days. I think he felt it prior to our first practice the other day. I don't think it's been a long-term thing."
Gaborik, who has nine goals and 10 assists in 22 games, missed 12 games with a mild shoulder separation, but Tortorella said no one, including the training staff, has mentioned the shoulder as an issue.
Consider this an audition for Mats Zuccarello, 22, the diminutive Norwegian right wing who had 22 points in the last 20 games in Hartford. There is no guarantee that he'll stay. "No one's saying he's ready," said Tortorella. "We need to bring someone up because we need a body. I'm not saying he's ready but he's going to get his chance because we're banged up. I'm going to give him an opportunity right away (on the first line with Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky).You're always looking to upgrade your skill, We didn't bring him up here to be a banger. I'm really anxious to see him play."
Derek Boogaard, who hasn't played since he took a blow to his face during a fight with Ottawa's Matt Carkner on Dec. 9, and fell heavily on his shoulder, is feeling better, and will re-visit a neurologist Tuesday.
Boogaard, who has been shut down from exercising because he was experiencing headaches, "has felt better in the last couple days," Tortorella said. The 6-8 Boogaard, who has not been quite the enforcer that he was with the Minnesota Wild, saw the neurologist three or four days after the incident. It was the first mention of that visit by the team. "He hasn't worked out, he's walked and gone about his business during the day." D Michael Del Zotto (stomach flu) was scratched but also is feeling better. Matt Gilroy stepped in for Del Zotto, who was paired with Mike Sauer.
The lines, d-pairs and goalie: