by Patrick Hoffman on 12/09/10 at 02:24 PM ET
UPDATE: According to Ranger beat writer Andrew Gross’s Twitter, New York Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto is a healthy scratch tonight in Ottawa and that defenseman Matt Gilroy will be inserted into the lineup:
Michael Del Zotto a healthy scratch tonight for #NYRangers, Gilroy in. Henrik Lundqvist will be in net.
The New York Rangers have a busy next couple of days coming up with three games in four nights on tap for the Blueshirts.
It begins tonight in Ottawa where the Rangers will take on a Senators’ team that beat them at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night by a score of 3-1. It was a game in which the Rangers did not come out with the intensity that is needed to win a hockey game and it ended up costing them in the end.
What was also disappointing about that game was that the Senators were coming off a 1-0 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres the night before. The Blueshirts did not take advantage of the opportunity to beat a tired team and it’s a game that they needed to pick up two points in.
It will be interesting to see what lines Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella has composed for tonight’s game as he has tinkered with them in practice this week. According to Andrew Gross at The Record, forward Ruslan Fedotenko will play on the team’s top line tonight with Marian Gaborik and Derek Stepan while Alex Frolov will play on the club’s third line with Dan Boyle and Brandon Prust.
It’s a game in which the Rangers need to take care of business because they have back-to-back games coming up against the Columbus Blue Jackets (on the road) and Washington Capitals (at home). Yes, the Rangers’ are 7-0 in back-to-back games this season but that game against the Capitals could end up being a real tough one for the Blueshirts.
For the Rangers, they will need to approach these games one at a time and put in 60 minute efforts. The team cannot afford to come out slow because team’s will be able to take advantage of them if they do that.
Picking up four out of a potential six points is not out of the realm of possibility but again, the team needs to take each game one at a time and focus on the two points at hand tonight in Ottawa.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.