In prepping for the first visit to Newark this season on Saturday, the Rangers front office and head coach Alain Vigneault are opting to fill the hole left by Ryan Callahan (broken thumb, hit by shot against Caps), with experience raather than youth.
The message, it appears, is that the 2-4 Rangers need to nail down a few winnable games, and let the youngsters simmer a bit in Hartford. Vigneault will get a closeup look at them tonight in Connecticut, as well as Cam Talbot, scheduled to play for the Wolfpack tonight, tomorrow and probably Wednesday.
Hence the move to install Taylor Pyatt, 32, on the first line and the power play, and summon Darroll Powe to help the PK, and leave Chris Kreider and Danny Kristo, who have more offensive upside---and have some defensive work to do---in the AHL for the moment.
The lines from practice, which AV said will start in NJ:
Brad Richards-Derick Brassard-Pyatt
JT Miller-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello (Interesting trio here)
Benoit Pouliot-Brian Boyle-Derek Dorsett
Powe-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast
That first PP unit: John Moore, Richards, Pyatt (stationed in Cally's spot in front of the net), Brassard, Stepan. AV said that in discussions with GM Glen Sather and Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld, Stepan, who missed camp, is at 75 percent of where his game should be.
On D, Michael Del Zotto (flu, and scratched against Washington) practiced, but AV said he had not yet decided on his six dmen against the Devils.
More in a follow up file in a few minutes: Vigneault's quotes on Pyatt and Powe, some thoughts from Pyatt and Carl hagelin, who took contact for the first time since his off-season shoulder surgery and some other items...