TORONTO -- Despite playing back-to-back nights, Rangers coach John Tortorella has elected to go with Henrik Lundqvist when the club meets the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
"He has plenty of rest, our team has had plenty of rest," Tortorella said late this afternoon. "They are off again tomorrow. I think we have done what we need to do with the club as far as resting. We need to also get need to get Hank into some sort of flow as far as playing games – so he goes tonight."
Lundqvist has lost twice to Toronto this season and was on the bench in place of Martin Biron in the lone victory against the Maple Leafs, a 3-0 blanking at the Air Canada Centre on Jan. 14.
The Rangers not only lost last night's contest 4-1 to Buffalo, but they also lost forward Mats Zuccarello to a broken wrist, which he suffered in the first period. While Tortorella did not tip his hand as to who will fill the void left by Zuccarello, the odds-on favorite is veteran Ruslan Fedotenko.
"I know Feds very well … he is a good player and has been a good player for us," Tortorella said. "This is the time of year where he needs to find his defensive game and offensive game, and I believe he will."
Fedotenko has been a healthy scratch for the last two games. In 65 games played this season, he has eight goals and eight assists along with a minus-10 rating. He has been in the lineup for all three games against Toronto this season.
Here are the projected lines for the Rangers:
Brandon Dubinsky – Derek Stepan – Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin – Brad Richards – Marian Gaborik
Artem Anisimov – Brian Boyle – Ruslan Fedotenko
Brandon Prust – John Mitchell – Mike Rupp
Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Michael Del Zotto
Tim Erixon – Stu Bickel