by Patrick Hoffman on 02/25/11 at 11:45 AM ET
UPDATE: From Andrew Gross via Twitter:
Staal out Fedotenko in McDonagh paired with Girardi tonight for Rangers.
From Earlier: The New York Rangers are back in action tonight in Washington against the Washington Capitals after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night.
It does not have to be said that this is once again a big game for the Blueshirts. The Rangers still sit in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes and six points ahead of the ninth place Buffalo Sabres.
At the other end, the Capitals are currently fifth in the East with 74 points and are just three poitns behind the Southeast Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning. As such, this game is just as important to the Capitals as it is to the Blueshirts.
The Blueshirts will be without Marian Gaborik this wekend as it is believed he suffered a concussion sometime before playing against the Philadelphia Flyers last Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants said the following regarding Gaborik:
Marian Gaborik (concussion) has reported he’s feeling better but there’s no timetable for his return. Gaborik did undergo blood work back in New York to see if there were any “deficiencies,” though Tortorella wasn’t exactly clear on what deficiencies they might be testing for.
Gross also says that defenseman Marc Staal’s status is iffy after twisting his knee on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes:
Marc Staal will try to skate in the morning to test whether his twisted knee is strong enough to play. Sounds doubtful right now but we’ll see what another 10 hours of rest does. If Staal can’t play, Eminger goes in.
One player who is closer to coming back is forward Ruslan Fedotenko. I think the team has missed Fedotenko’s presence in the lineup as he works hard, puts the puck on net, plays well in both ends and has the ability to produce.
This is a HUGE weekend for the Blueshirts, folks. Come away with four points and the team and its fans will all feel a bit more secure about clinching the Stanley Cup Playoffs come April. Come away with no points and the team is right back on a losing streak with a lot of tough games left to play.
The team and its fans hope it is the former when it comes to this weekend.
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Tags: andrew+gross, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ranger+rants, ruslan+fedotenko, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals
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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.
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