Clowe suits up for Blueshirts

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- As Ryane Clowe surveyed the NHL landscape from San Jose in preparation for waiving his no-trade clause before the deadline, a team thousands of miles away caught his eye. A lifelong Western Conference player, Clowe found himself intrigued by the New York Rangers.

"I thought it would be a real good fit here. I've been watching their games a lot the last couple of weeks and I've always liked how they've played, I think they got a lot of good players, good core," Clowe said following the team's optional skate Wednesday morning. "Obviously coming down to the deadline there were some options of where I was going to go but I think New York was my first choice."

After waiving his no-trade clause and being acquired by the Rangers Tuesday night, Clowe will play in his first game for them Wednesday when they host the Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

"I try to play a hard game, being physical is part of that, and I find offense follows, " Clowe said. "I don't think I feel too much pressure. I think it's more excitement right now, coming in here, coming to New York, getting an opportunity to play with this team and at MSG, that's all exciting stuff that I'm just looking forward to getting going tonight."

The Rangers acquired Clowe to bring some extra ruggedness and provide depth to their struggling offense. Clowe's four-year, $14.5 million deal ends after this season, which could make him a rental. Clowe, 30, hopes the team doesn't plan to dump him at the end of the year. The Rangers gave up three draft picks to get him.

"I'd love to be here and be a part of this and be here for a while," Clowe said. "What happens, I don't know. The next month is going to be a sprint to the finish here so I got to make sure my game is where it needs to be and I think if I'm playing on top of my game I'll help this team and then we'll go from there."

Throughout his career, Clowe had been a reliable scorer, notching at least 45 points in each of the last four seasons. This year, though, it's been a struggle as he has zero goals and 11 assists through 28 games.

"I don't think I was playing a real good game out of the start from the lockout, and as a bigger guy, I have to move my feet and skate and it took a little time to get going. Then I got frustrated, I wasn't scoring, and it built up into 15 to 20 games," Clowe said. "I felt like I put that behind me and just started to play my game, the last 10 games, especially the last couple of weeks, I feel like my games is back where it needs to be. I know the goals will come. I feel fortunate that I feel like I can make an impact on the game even when I'm not scoring. I feel I can bring that to the team."

STAAL UPDATE: Rangers defenseman Marc Staal worked out at the team's practice facility on Wednesday. Staal is out indefinitely after being hit in the eye with a puck on March 5.