OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on Thursday night:
Carl Hagelin – Derek Stepan – Marian Gaborik
Chris Kreider – Brad Richards – Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt – Brian Boyle – J.T. Miller
Brandon Mashinter – Jeff Halpern – Arron Asham
Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto – Matt Gilroy
Injured: Rick Nash, Darroll Powe
Scratches: Stu Bickel
Coach John Tortorella hopes his team can use its time in Ottawa to shrug off the memories of a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
"I wasn’t happy with the game; I thought the game just [stunk]," Tortorella said. "It’s certainly not a criticism of [the Canadiens]. It was just one of those games where neither team generated much offense. I would have asked for my money back if I was watching that thing."
Jakob Silfverberg – Kyle Turris – Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening – Stephane Da Costa – Erik Condra
Dave Dziurzynski – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins – Derek Grant – Mika Zibanejad
Andre Benoit – Chris Phillips
Marc Methot – Eric Gryba
Patrick Wiercioch – Sergei Gonchar
Injuries: Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, Guillaume Latendresse, Jared Cowen
Scratches: Jim O’Brien, Mike Lundin
Michalek (knee) will not be available Saturday to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, but coach Paul MacLean said he believes the wing will return to the lineup next week, barring any setbacks.
This is the first matchup between the two clubs since the Rangers eliminated the Senators from the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in seven games last season.
"It’s one of things where you look back and ask what you could have done differently," Craig Anderson said. "But it’s a fresh season, and there’s definitely a bit of a rivalry there. Game 7 was in their building, so it will be a different atmosphere. For us, we can’t focus on the past."
As the Senators continue to battle injuries, speculation has risen regarding Daniel Alfredsson’s immediate future with the club, and whether he’d consider a trade from Ottawa if the Senators were out of the playoff race.
"It’s flattering if teams are interested in me," Alfredsson said. "But for me, I want to keep this thing going until we’re in the playoffs. I think if we were to fall out of that race, there would be more speculation. But that’s not something I’m really giving any thought. My focus last summer was whether I still had it in me to come back. After the season we had last year, the biggest reason [I came back] was the way that we played.
"Obviously we’re in tougher this year, but I think we can we can still make the playoffs. As of right now, [I wouldn’t consider asking for a trade], but never say never. We’re in the playoff race, and I hope we can continue and stay here. It’s definitely where my focus is, and I’m not thinking or worrying about anything else."