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Posted On Sunday, 03.16.2014 / 4:04 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Torres out for Sharks against Rangers

NEW YORK -- San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres participated in warm-ups Sunday afternoon but will not return to the lineup against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Torres missed the first five months of the season after undergoing knee surgery during training camp. He had five points in five games after returning to the lineup, but recent soreness has forced the 32-year-old to miss his fourth straight game.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has been doing plenty of line juggling. When forward Martin St. Louiswas acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline from the Tampa Bay Lighting, the assumption was that he would seamlessly fit on a line with former Lightning teammate Brad Richards. When those two failed to provide consistent offense, Vigneault made some changes, opting to put St. Louis on a line with forward Mats Zuccarello and center Derick Brassard.

Posted On Sunday, 03.09.2014 / 11:50 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers' Lundqvist seeks 300th career win

NEW YORK -- One of the world's busiest goaltenders will remain in the crease Sunday afternoon when Henrik Lundqvist starts for the New York Rangers against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden.

Lundqvist enters the Sunday matinee one win short of 300 for his career. He is also two wins shy of Mike Richter's franchise record of 301.

If Lundqvist continues with his frantic pace of late, he should be New York's career wins leader within days. He played six games for Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the most of any goaltender in the tournament, and had a 1.50 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in leading the Swedes to the silver medal.

Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Maple Leafs won't make changes if St. Louis plays

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers are hoping to have Martin St. Louis in their lineup Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden. But the Leafs won't be making any tweaks in their game plan, regardless of whether or not St. Louis makes it to the Rangers' locker room in time to play.

St. Louis, the defending Art Ross Trophy winner, was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline for Ryan Callahan and two draft picks.

"You have two players that are the faces of their franchise exchanging places. Those are big deals, but we can only worry about what we have to do," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said after the team's morning skate. "We always respect the opposition. We know the Rangers are going to play an aggressive forechecking style of hockey. They're going to come after us. It doesn't matter if Marty St. Louis is there or not. We've got to be ready to play our game and manage the puck properly."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 1:50 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Defenseman Justin Schultz key during Oilers' run

NEW YORK -- The Edmonton Oilers arrived in New York for their lone game this season at Madison Square Garden with a little spring in their step. Winning four of the past five games will do that to a young team.

Hoping to finish strong as they close out a four-game road trip Thursday in New York and Friday against the New Jersey Devils before the Olympic break, the Oilers have shown improvement of late, and defenseman Justin Schultz has been a big part of that.

"He's been good. Justin has made some great strides this year," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said after the morning skate. "He's a guy we're relying on heavily right now for minutes. We're able to play him those minutes because of his improved defensive play."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 6:18 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

MacKinnon's production surprises his own coach

NEW YORK -- Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche entered Tuesday night leading all NHL rookies with 20 goals and 41 points. He has eight points during a five-game point streak and 12 points in his last eight games.

That kind of production by an 18-year-old, even one who was talented enough to be taken with the first pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, has caught many people off-guard -- including MacKinnon's own coach.

"He's putting up more points than I thought he was going to," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said prior to Colorado's game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. "Right now he's playing with a lot of confidence. I'm trying to push him a little more. What impresses me most is the consistency he's capable of every night."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 1:30 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

NBA outing helped Rangers' third line find chemistry

NEW YORK -- With the New York Rangers running four lines for much of the past month, it seems like a different trio has provided a key goal every game. But during their current three-game winning streak, it's been impossible to miss the team's third line of Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot.

The line has combined for 10 points in the past three games, including two game-tying and two game-winning goals. It's an impressive run for a line that has managed to develop great chemistry on the ice as well as off.

"I think everyone just works hard," Zuccarello said after the team's practice Tuesday. "We're all capable of doing everything, working hard, taking the body, backcheck, forecheck. I think we just read off each other really well. We have four good lines, so there's not a lot of pressure. There's pressure on every line, but it's not like we have more pressure than the other ones. That's a strength to our team lately."

Posted On Friday, 01.31.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders rely on returning veterans in crucial stretch

NEW YORK -- One of the youngest teams in the NHL, the New York Islanders haven't had too many opportunities to see their two oldest players suit up at the same time.

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, 37, returned to the lineup Monday after missing more than three months with a concussion, the sixth of his career. The team's elder statesman, 38-year-old goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, made 32 saves in a 2-1 loss Wednesday to the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium, his first start since returning earlier in the week from a lower-body injury.

Those veterans could be crucial if the Islanders hope to move up in the standings before the upcoming Olympic break. That potential make-or-break run begins against the Rangers on Friday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Posted On Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 2:54 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers defenseman Klein excited for new chapter

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Kevin Klein was about 15 minutes away from leaving home to accompany the Nashville Predators on a flight to Vancouver on Wednesday when he received a phone call from Predators general manager David Poile to let him know he had been traded. He just didn't say where.

Within minutes Klein learned through social media that he was the newest member of the New York Rangers, a fact that was confirmed by another call from Poile.

Klein was selected by the Predators in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft (No. 37) and came up through the organization with many of Nashville's top players, including fellow defenseman and captain Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne. Leaving that group was tough for Klein, who was sent to the Rangers in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. But he said Thursday he's excited to start a new chapter in his career.

"I didn't see it [the trade] coming," Klein said. "But I heard it was the New York Rangers and I was pretty excited to start that chapter, for sure. I was there for 10 years in that [Nashville] organization, drafted there and everything. That's all I know. So it's a sad day. But at the same time it's going to be nice to see another organization and play in a big hockey market. I know three or four of the guys, which is nice. Makes it easier to transition."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 1:50 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lundqvist ill, Talbot to start for Rangers

NEW YORK -- With the New York Rangers set to play the first of three games in 11 days against the New York Islanders, a home-and-home sandwiched around the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium, goaltender Cam Talbot got an interesting surprise Tuesday morning.

With No. 1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist out with an illness, Talbot will get the start at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers agreed to a contract with 30-year-old David LeNeveu on Monday afternoon and he'll serve as the backup.

"I got here this morning and I was told he wasn't feeling well," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of Lundqvist. "Every time we've used Cam this year, he's given us a chance to win. So our group is very confident when he's in goal."

Posted On Sunday, 01.19.2014 / 1:59 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ovechkin, Backstrom reunited against Rangers

NEW YORK -- After losing 10 of their past 13 games, the Washington Capitals arrived at Madison Square Garden for their morning skate facing a sobering reality. After at least sharing second place in the Metropolitan Division for much of the season, the team woke up Sunday in fifth.

That slide by the Capitals has inspired some drastic line juggling by coach Adam Oates, who will reunite his top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson against the New York Rangers. One of the most potent offensive duos in the League, Ovechkin and Backstrom were split up Friday in a 5-1 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In the closing moments of the game against Columbus, the top line was reunited by Oates.

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Quote of the Day

It's cool when you think about how many great American players have played the game and the two players that were at that 18-game point streak and what they've done in their careers. It's pretty cool right now, but it was kind of overshadowed by the loss.

— Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after breaking the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Kings
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