- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
- 0 Shares
Rangers forward Brian Boyle is a healthy scratch for the second straight game as the Rangers host the Lightning on Sunday night. Boyle has just one assist on the season and Rangers coach John Tortorella is opting to stay primarily with the same lineup that earned a 4-1 win over the Islanders Thursday.
Boyle, 28, had played in every game leading up to Thursday's win over the Islanders, but Tortorella decided to make a change with Boyle struggling. Through nine games Boyle was minus-3 and part of the team's floundering bottom lines. Tortorella said he hoped Boyle would be miserable watching the game and added that he hoped Boyle never would make him come to that decision again.
"I liked the way our team played (Thursday). I didn't see there was a reason to take someone out of the lineup to force Brian back in," Tortorella said. "I think Brian is going to be a big part of the team. But he just has to wait his turn now until we make a decision with what we do here.
"We have two kids come in (J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider) and we hope they keep growing. You add two guys, you trade for a guy that you're trying to get involved (Darroll Powe), it jams up the lineup. What the lineup's going to be when we go to Boston after tonight's game, I don't know."
As Boyle sits, the Rangers will welcome back defenseman Dan Girardi, who missed the previous two games with what the team described as the result of being "banged up." The Rangers went 1-1 in his absence, losing to the Devils before the win over the Islanders, and his return will allow the team to play its full lineup. Ryan Callahan and Kreider both returned to the lineup recently after missing time with injuries.
"He's our anchor," Tortorella said of Girardi. "He's a shutdown guy, and also bringing some offense to us as his game keeps on getting better. I think it puts our people in places where they should be as far as our six."
Tortorella also said that winter storm Nemo did not affect his team's preparation for the game.
62dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald