NEW YORK -- Mats Zuccarello is healthy and ready to go. The only problem for the diminutive forward is finding a opening in the lineup.
"If they need me, I'll be ready," Zuccarello said following Rangers practice Thursday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Zuccarello has not played since breaking his wrist March 23. He had surgery that cost him the rest of the regular season, but he has recovered to the point where he believes he can play. He has been skating with the Rangers' black aces of late, but his wrist is back at full strength.
Rangers coach John Tortorella made a lineup tweak before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, inserting Brandon Dubinsky in place of John Mitchell. Dubinsky missed 11 games with a lower-body injury suffered during Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals, but was playing regularly before the injury. Zuccarello had 2 goals in 10 regular-season games and spent most of the season playing for the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.
Barring injuries or suspensions, Zuccarello will likely be watching from the press box for Game 6 and beyond during the playoffs.
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