Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Dubinsky expected to return in Game 5
By Katie Strang
Could Brandon Dubinsky provide the jolt the Rangers need?
Based on Wednesday's optional morning skate, the 26-year-old forward may be ready to play for the first time since suffering a right foot injury in the series finale of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Ottawa.
Coach John Tortorella declined to discuss the lineup, but did concede that his offensively-sluggish team could use a shake-up.
"We need something to happen for ourselves. We'll try different things. I'll give you that," Tortorella said. "But it's still a matter of just getting it done. At least that's the way I feel about it. So we'll see where it goes."
Should Dubinsky return, it appears that fourth-line center John Mitchell will be scratched to make room in the Rangers lineup.
Dubinsky's grinding, hard-nosed game is tailor-made for the playoffs and could be just what the Rangers require in generating some energy and jump against the high-flying Devils. Dubinsky has 10 goals and 9 assists in 32 career games against New Jersey and, although he's had a disappointing season, has had previous success in the postseason.
In 22 playoff games before this season, Dubinsky had seven goals and eight assists.
The Rangers will also return tough guy Brandon Prust, who missed Game 4 while serving a one-game suspension for his elbow on Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Prust had played in all 99 games for the Rangers this season before being slapped with the ban. His return will mean either defensemen Stu Bickel or Steve Eminger will be scratched.