The Brandon Prust-Brian Boyle-Ruslan Fedotenko line has been a key energy and forechecking trio most of the season and took the opening faceoff for six of the last seven games. But coach John Tortorella broke up the unit during Saturday’s loss, using Sean Avery in place of Fedotenko. Tonight, Avery started on Boyle’s left side and Prust shifted to the right side. “I may use them in certain situations,” he said, “but Sean’s played well with Boyle and Prust.”
The rest: Dubinsky (who Torts predicted will have one of his best games)-Anisimov-Gaborik; Zuccarell-Stepan-Drury (note the right wing); Wolski-Newbury-Feds.
Expecet to see two or three new power-play combos as well.
Should cool, calm and collected Henrik Lundqvist have a little more Billy Smith in him?
In the right situation, according to coach John Tortorella, maybe.
With 17:03 left in the second period in Montreal on Saturday and the Canadiens, leading 3-1 and buzzing around the net, Lundqvist dove on Max Pacioretty after they collided, flinging punches. “I wish he would’ve hit him with more shots,” said Tortorella. “Situations arise where you need to stand up for yourself and spark a team, that was one. It can’t be every time he gets hit…. Where our team was at the end of the period, I think it was the right time to do it, Hank seized the moment there, and there are certain other times it may arise, and maybe he should.”
However, Tortorella said he had “no temptation to go with Hank” against the Flyers, despite his 5-2-1 run. “Marty Biron (7-3-0, 2.26 ) has played very well. Win, lose whatever, we need to stay with what we’re trying to do, so at the end of the year he’ll (Lundqvist) be fresh.”
Not only are the Rangers one of six teams invited to open next season with two games in Europe, probably one in Sweden, the Blueshirts could return to the U.S. and play a string of road games to allow more time for continuing Garden renovations, a source familiar with the scheduling told Newsday.
More coming up from the Garden....