TORONTO — Rangers forward Ryan Strome had dinner at the home of former Islanders teammate John Tavares on Friday night.
“He was one of my best friends,’’ Strome, who was acquired from the Oilers on Nov. 16 in exchange for Ryan Spooner, said of Tavares, who signed with the Maple Leafs as a free agent. “He was my roommate. I was in his wedding party last summer and he’s in mine this summer, so nice to catch up with an old friend.’’
Claesson back in
With only one extra healthy body on the roster, coach David Quinn is limited in the lineup changes he can make from one game to the next. He made the one move he could Saturday, inserting defenseman Fredrik Claesson in the lineup after he sat out Tuesday’s game against Anaheim. Claesson took the place of Tony DeAngelo.
“Tony’s had a little bit of a struggle lately, so it might be a good time to get him out and get Freddie back in,’’ Quinn said before the game.
Claesson had played in 15 of the previous 16 games before being scratched to make room for Brendan Smith, who sat out three of four before returning against Anaheim.
With DeAngelo, the point man on the second power-play unit, not playing, Quinn had to figure out what to do with his second power-play unit. His solution was to drop first-unit point man Neal Pionk to the second unit and play five forwards on the first unit, putting Vlad Namestnikov up front and playing Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello at the points. It was something he did at times at Boston University, he said, adding: “I just want to get our best five guys out there.’’ . . . Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist and extended his point streak to six games in which he has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) . . . Brady Skjei played in his 200th career game.