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Tortorella splits Richards, Gaborik

by Dave Lozo /
After eight games together, it looks as though Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards will be playing on different lines for the time being.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said Saturday before his team faced the Ottawa Senators that one reason for the breakup is the fact both players want the puck on their stick, and putting them on different lines will alleviate that problem and perhaps help those struggling to score find their games.

There was no morning skate before this afternoon's 3 p.m. game at Madison Square Garden, so here are the lines Tortorella displayed at practice Friday.

Wojtek Wolski - Erik Christensen - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Derek Stepan - Artem Anisimov - Kris Newbury

Tortorella spoke at length Friday about not wanting to mix and match lines as heavily as he has in the early going, but with so many players struggling, he's had no choice. Dubinsky, Anisimov and Stepan, who combined for 63 goals last season, have yet to score to this season.

“The thing with our team right now is, it’s not one or two guys you need to get going," Tortorella said Friday. "It’s a team thing -- offensively, anyway. There are a number of people struggling. The way I look at it is, you have decisions to make. Do you keep on mixing them up and try to find a combination or do you go to a situation where you really think through prior experience with the player that they’d work together, do you go back to that and just work through it? Because this is a team thing. It’s not about getting one or two guys going. It’s really a team funk."

Michael Del Zotto (hip) will play, and the Rangers' D pairings will likely be the same as they were against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Henrik Lundqvist will be in net.

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Michael Sauer
Tim Erixon - Steve Eminger

The only news for Ottawa this afternoon is the team recalled goaltender Robin Lehner from Binghamton of the AHL to replace backup Alex Auld, who is out with an undisclosed injury from practice Friday. Craig Anderson will make the start as the Senators look to win their fifth straight game.

Here is what the Senators will throw out there this afternoon:

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Stephane Da Costa - Daniel Alfredsson
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Jesse Winchester - Zenon Konopka - Kaspars Daugavins

David Rundblad - Chris Phillips
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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