Hello, ladies and gents and kids of all ages....Thanks again for following here and on twitter @stevezipay, and in the paper, if possible. Does a young heart good....
Just back from the morning skate and brief QnA with coach John Tortorella.
What we know:
Henrik Lundqvist will start his 10th straight game tonight against the Sabres, who have won three straight and will open with Ryan Miller, who was terrific against the Bruins last game and is 8-2-4 against the Blueshirts in his last 14 with a 1.71 GAA.
Same lineup for Blueshirts. Expecting same lines as against Florida, given the six-goal output, which tied the season high. Because of the back to back, only five players skated: Chris Kreider, Marc Staal, Derek Dorsett, Martin Biron and Matt Gilroy. Some of them, and Derick Brassard, watched updates from the Boston manhunt on the locker room TV. The rest came for a meeting or a workout and left.
A few guys: Girardi, Del Zotto, Eminger, Stralman, were kicking a soccer ball around in the corridor at First Niagara Center, but most hurried back to the hotel to relax.
A win would give the No. 8 Rangers 50 points, and move them ahead of two ahead of Winnipeg, with four games to play, as well as one behind the idle Islanders and two behind the Senators.
Staal (eye) and Dorsett (clavicle), who began shooting, reported improvement, but arn;t that close to playing. More later from the rink.
Programming note: I'll be a guest on the ESPN/98.7 FM pregame show at 6:35....