PRAGUE -- Rangers center Brian Boyle took the team bus over to Tesla Arena at 9:30 Wednesday morning, but he didn't last very long. Boyle waited for the second bus carrying some Rangers and NHL personnel to arrive roughly an hour later and hitched a ride back to the hotel because he wasn't feeling well.
John Tortorella said Boyle was suffering from some flu-like symptoms so they immediately sent him home. The last thing the Rangers need is the flu-bug going around the team.
What about Staal?: Tortorella had no update on the status of defenseman Marc Staal, who remains back in New York dealing with headaches believed to be a result of a concussion he suffered he February. The Rangers remain hopeful that Staal, the No. 1 blue-liner, will be able to join them at some point on this trip.
The six-hour time difference between New York and Prague created a communication problem Tuesday and by 2 p.m. local time here Tortorella said he hadn't received any information. But, it was only 8 a.m. in New York.
"Because of the time change it's tough (to get an update)," Tortorella said. "Later on (Wednesday) we'll have more information."
Lineup for Thursday: Tortorella wouldn't confirm the entire lineup for Thursday's game against Sparta Prague, but he did give away some information.
Marty Biron will get the start in net and is expected to play the entire game. Henrik Lundqvist, who will likely play Friday against Frolunda in Gothenburg, Swe., will serve as Biron's backup.
Brendan Bell, Michael Del Zotto and Steve Eminger will all play on defense. It's possible that Tortorella also uses Tim Erixon, Blake Parlett and Stu Bickel to round out the blue line. All but Eminger are still trying to earn a spot on the opening night roster, and with injuries to Staal and Michael Sauer (shoulder sprain), there could be some potential openings.
Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards will play Thursday. The expectation is that Wojtek Wolski also plays so Tortorella can get another good look at his potential top line.
Avery on the ice: Sean Avery skated Wednesday after missing Tuesday's practice with a sore right foot. Avery, who blocked a shot with his foot in the second period of Monday's game, declined a request to be interviewed by NHL.com.
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