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At the Rink blog

Staal, Del Zotto questionable for Rangers

Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Staal, Del Zotto questionable for Rangers

MONTREAL – Neither the New York Rangers nor the Montreal Canadiens will know exactly what their respective lineups will look like for their game at Bell Centre on Saturday night until just before the puck drops.

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was surprisingly absent from the morning skate as he stayed at the team hotel battling the flu. Fellow defenseman Michael Del Zotto was on the ice but left before the skate was completed. Del Zotto did not finish Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators after taking a hard check from Marc Methot midway through the third period.

The defensemen are game-time decisions, according to Rangers coach John Tortorella, who will already be missing top-line left wing Rick Nash and fourth-line checker Arron Asham. The Rangers have called up Christian Thomas from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League, but his plane had mechanical issues and Tortorella did not confirm he would be in.

On the Canadiens side, former Rangers forward Brandon Prust also is a game-time decision, according to coach Michel Therrien. Prust did not practice with his teammates Friday and did not take part in an optional skate Saturday morning.

If Prust misses the game, it will aid Therrien's decision as to who will come out to accommodate the return of rookie Brendan Gallagher from a concussion. If Prust plays, he likely would be on the team’s fourth line, bouncing out Ryan White, Colby Armstrong or Travis Moen.

The Rangers will start backup Martin Biron, who has a history of playing well against the Canadiens, sporting a 14-12-1 record, 2.42 goals-against average and .917 save percentage against Montreal. Starter Henrik Lundqvist has historically played poorly against the Canadiens, particularly here.

Here are Saturday night’s projected lineups. The Rangers' lines are based on the morning skate, so Del Zotto and Staal are not listed:


Taylor PyattBrad RichardsMarian Gaborik

Carl HagelinDerek StepanRyan Callahan

Chris KreiderJ.T. MillerJeff Halpern

Brandon MashinterBrian BoyleChristian Thomas

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi

Matt GilroyAnton Stralman

Steve EmingerStu Bickel

Martin Biron

Henrik Lundqvist

Injured: Michael Del Zotto (game time), Marc Staal (game time), Rick Nash, Arron Asham

Scratched: none


Rene BourqueTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukLars EllerErik Cole

Travis MoenRyan WhiteColby Armstrong

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Josh GorgesRaphael Diaz

Francis BouillonP.K. Subban

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Injured: Brandon Prust (game time), Petteri Nokelainen

Scratched: Tomas Kaberle, Yannick Weber

Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82