Monday, April 16, 2012
Rangers mum on lineup, suspensions
By Katie Strang
Senators coach Paul MacLean did not tip his hand about captain Daniel Alfredsson's availability for tonight and John Tortorella followed suit.
Tortorella would not disclose who would replace the recently-suspended Carl Hagelin for Monday's Game 3 in Ottawa. Hagelin was slapped with a three-game suspension Sunday for his hit that forced Alfredsson from Saturday's game.
Of course, the most intriguing option to replace Hagelin is top prospect Chris Kreider.
The 20-year-old winger recently decided to forego his senior season at Boston College and turn pro. He has been practicing with the Rangers since signing a three-year entry-level deal with the team, but has yet to make his NHL debut. He was not available to speak to the media after the team's morning skate.
Should the Rangers opt to scratch Kreider for the third straight game -- and if so, why sign him? -- they could use hulking enforcer John Scott to fill the hole in the lineup. Defenseman Jeff Woywitka could also conceivably return, with fellow blue-liner Stu Bickel moving to forward.
Save for Sunday night's statement, the Rangers also were not feeling chatty about the suspensions handed down following Game 2, a chippy 3-2 OT loss at Madison Square Garden.
While New York will be without Hagelin for the next three games -- which could possibly mean the rest of the series -- Ottawa loses Matt Carkner for only one.
The bruising defenseman pummeled Rangers forward Brian Boyle 2:15 into play Saturday in response to Boyle's rough treatment of Senators' star defenseman Erik Karlsson two nights prior.
"There's no point whining about it," said Brandon Prust. "We're just going to move on."
• • •
Defenseman Steve Eminger had his first substantial skate to test his sprained right ankle Monday morning. The 28-year-old, who has not played in over a month, said he is making strides but still has no timetable.