We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE
At the Rink blog

Zuccarello to debut for desperate Rangers

Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 2:09 PM

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

Share with your Friends


2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Zuccarello to debut for desperate Rangers

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers sounded very much like a desperate hockey team Saturday morning as they prepared to play the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Coach John Tortorella was still lamenting his team’s effort in a 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, citing it as a glaring example of a problem that has plagued the Rangers all season long.

Tortorella said he was happy with the way the Rangers played in a 5-2 victory at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. But his disappointment that it didn’t carry over to Thursday’s game was compounded by the fact the season is racing toward its completion.

“There is time here, but we’re running out of it as far as our consistency,” Tortorella said. “That’s been the tough one for us as a group. We see glimpses but then we take a step backwards.”

He again referenced the contrast between the game in Philadelphia and the game in Ottawa, emphasizing how that needs to be resolved.

“We can’t keep on taking steps backwards,” he said. “We’re out of time for that.”

Tortorella and the rest of the Rangers hope the return of Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello can at least address part of the problem, a serious lack of scoring. But Zuccarello, who spent this season playing in the Kontinental Hockey League with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk, warns not to expect him to perform miracles.

“It’s not like we’re going to win the Stanley Cup because I’m coming back. I’m not Gretzky,” Zuccarello said. “But I can try and do my job and maybe create a spark.”

For the Canadiens, Brandon Prust will return to the lineup after missing eight games with a separated shoulder, bumping out Mike Blunden. Rookie defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will become the third Montreal defense prospect in three weeks to make his NHL debut. The No. 17 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft will play alongside Francis Bouillon and should see some time on the power play.

Martin Biron will start in goal for the Rangers against Carey Price, who has a 2-0-0 record with a .976 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average against the Rangers this season.

The Rangers held an optional skate Saturday, so these are their lines from Friday’s practice; the Canadiens held a full skate Saturday morning.

RANGERS

Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Chris Kreider - Brad Richards - Mats Zuccarello

Brian Boyle - J.T. MillerRyan Callahan

Taylor Pyatt - Kris Newbury - Marian Gaborik

Michael Del Zotto - Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh - Steve Eminger

Roman Hamrlik - Anton Stralman

Martin Biron

Henrik Lundqvist

CANADIENS

Michael RyderTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukLars EllerBrandon Prust

Travis MoenJeff HalpernColby Armstrong

Josh GorgesP.K. Subban

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Francis BouillonNathan Beaulieu

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense