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Tortorella gives tough guy Haley shot on top lines

Micheal Haley of the New York Islanders skates

Micheal Haley of the New York Islanders skates against the Florida Panthers. (Feb. 21, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

BUFFALO -- There was Micheal Haley, former Islander and current fourth-line Ranger, skating in rarefied air.

Haley, known more for his fists than finesse, had played just 4:40 through the first 40 minutes Tuesday night. But with the listless Rangers dragging, coach John Tortorella sent him out with top-six forwards in the third period for more than six minutes and he had two shots.

"He brought energy and created some havoc in their end," Ryan Callahan said.

Haley, in his fifth game with the Rangers, was humbled. "I just try to play the same way, get in on the forecheck and play hard. When you get some ice time, you want to make the best of it. I don't think I'm going to be a first-line player in the NHL."

Haley, who had nine goals in 56 games with the AHL Whale, almost scored. "It was a good save," he said. "I wanted to get it a little higher, he [Jhonas Enroth] slid across and got it with his blocker."

Tough work for Hamrlik

Defenseman Roman Hamrlik, claimed on waivers from the Capitals last Wednesday, will not go to Connecticut (AHL) for conditioning as Steve Eminger did. He will tough it out with Rangers assistant Jim Schoenfeld, known as a taskmaster. "We're in the middle of doing it ourselves with Hammer," Tortorella said. "It's very important that he spend some time with that part of it before we even consider getting him back in the lineup . . . He'll be begging to play."

Ice chips

Brian Boyle led the Rangers with eight hits and won 10 of 14 faceoffs . . . Rick Nash had six shots . . . Marcus Foligno led the Sabres with four shots, scoring on two of them.

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