Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers are getting back their leading scorer (well, not including Martin St. Louis) tonight, as Mats Zuccarello will be rejoining the lineup after suffering a broken hand in the Olympics. Zuccarello missed Norway’s final game in Sochi and the first five games since the break. Zucc will likely rejoin linemates Benoit Pouliot and Derick Brassard on the third line.
The Hartford Wolf Pack have recalled forward Michael St. Croix from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. This is St. Croix’s third stint with the AHL, where he is scoreless in nine games (2 PIMs, -3 rating). In 37 games in Greenville, St. Croix has a line of 13-27-40, with 12 PIMs and a +1 rating. St. Croix might be replacing the injured Danny Kristo in the lineup.
The Pack also recalled goaltender Scott Stajcer, but that is more a formality. He suffered another hip injury, and will miss the rest of the season. This is the same hip injury that has plagued him for the entire career. Stajcer is an RFA at the end of this year, and likely won’t be re-signed.
Despite earlier reports that the injury to Mats Zuccarello was not serious, the winger and Rangers leading scorer will be out 3-4 weeks with that broken hand. Considering the Olympic break doesn’t end until Thursday for the Rangers, Zuccarello will miss 2-3 weeks of games. That amounts to anywhere from 5-7 games. This is obviously a blow for the Rangers, as Zuccarello has been a huge asset to the team, and has been the backbone of his line with Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot.
In injury news, Derek Dorsett is skating in a non-contact jersey, and hopes to be ready when the season resumes next week. Dorsett has missed 17 games with a broken leg suffered against Pittsburgh on January 3.
Also, per Steve Zipay, the Rangers –who practiced yesterday– will have practice today, tomorrow, and Monday through Wednesday. The Olympians will rejoin the team on Wednesday for a full team practice.
Per Seth Rothman, citing a Norwegian report, Mats Zuccarello has a small fracture in his injured left hand. Zuccarello suffered the injury Sunday against Austria after taking a slash to the hand, and sat out the elimination game against Russia yesterday. The injury is not expected to be a long-term injury, and Zuccarello could be ready by the time the NHL season resumes on February 27. The injury does not require surgery.
Update: Per Pat Leonard, Falk and Del Zotto appear to be the scratches for tomorrow if Stralman can go.
Original Post: There was a lot of news coming from practice today, courtesy of Brett Cyrgalis (New York Post). Marc Staal will play tomorrow, and Anton Stralman was taking rushes with Michael Del Zotto. John Moore and Justin Falk formed the fourth defense pairing. Staal was skating with rookie Connor Allen, who appears to be getting at least one more game with the big club. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi were back together as well. The full lines:
Moore-Falk (likely scratches if Stralman is good to go)
Per Andrew Gross, there is no decision on Stralman as of yet. He will see how he feels tomorrow. If he can’t go, one of Moore or Falk will skate with Del Zotto.
Ryan Callahan was in a non-contact jersey.
The Rangers have recalled defenseman Connor Allen in response to the injury to Anton Stralman last night. Allen, who had a very strong preseason, has a line of 5-8-13 in 29 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack this season. The loss of Stralman is a tough on the Rangers, who are short on right handed shots from the blue line.
The club is saying that the injury to Stralman is not serious, but the immediate recall of Allen signals that Stralman will likely be out for at least a game, possibly more. This recall probably kills two birds with one stone: Allen will serve as an injury replacement for a few games, and the Rangers will see what they have in the undrafted free agent that impressed in September.
For those wondering why Dylan McIlrath was not recalled, he reinjured his knee last week.
Per Seth Rothman, both Ryan Callahan (knee) and Marc Staal (concussion) are with the Rangers on the current road trip. Staal has been out since the December 7 loss to New Jersey, and Callahan since the December 10 loss to Nashville. Staal has been skating for a few days now, and it was rumored that he would return on this road trip. Callahan was supposed to be out 4-6 weeks with his MCL sprain, so news of him traveling with the team is a bit of a surprise. The team needs both of them back in a hurry.
Per Larry Brooks, concussed defenseman Marc Staal is skating again, having taken the ice yesterday and after practice today. There is still no timetable for his return, but Staal said that this concussion is nowhere near the same as the last concussion he had. The sooner Staal returns the better, as the Rangers could really use a boost on the blue line.