Per Larry Brooks, Benoit Pouliot’s time in the lineup has come to an end. The recently recalled J.T. Miller will take his spot in the lineup, skating with Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin. The other lineup change is Justin Falk in for Michael Del Zotto. It appears Alain Vigneault is matching Del Zotto and Falk based on opposition. The Devils have a little more snarl in the lineup, so the tougher Falk dresses.
Derek Dorsett is still battling wrist issues, and is not playing tonight.
Per the Rangers Twitter feed, Derek Dorsett will be out tonight with a lingering wrist issue. Taylor Pyatt will return to the lineup in Dorsett’s place. Also, AV noted an unspecified defenseman is banged up and the defensemen will be a game time decision. We can speculate all we want, but we know it isn’t John Moore that is banged up, since AV confirmed he will return tonight. If the unspecified defenseman is good to go, then I assume Justin Falk, who barely played in the third period last game, will be the healthy scratch.
Per Pat Leonard, it looks like Taylor Pyatt and John Moore will be healthy scratches for the second straight game. AV is a coach that doesn’t like to change things up following a win, so this is relatively unexpected.
Also per Leonard, Cam Talbot will start tonight in net. This will be the first time Talbot starts two straight games. Talbot has not allowed more than two goals in any of his seven starts this season.
After a run that saw the Rangers score just nine goals in seven games, Alain Vigneault has shaken up his lines (per Pat Leonard). The only line that remains intact is the Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello line:
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Rick Nash
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Ryan Callahan
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett
In reality this illustrates the Rangers dire need for a winger, since Pouliot has been anything but reliable in his first 24 games as a Ranger. The injured Taylor Pyatt is not the answer either.
On the powerplay, Andrew Gross notes some changes as well:
Kreider-Stepan-Brassard-Zuccarello-Del Zotto-John Moore
At this point I’m surprised Marc Staal isn’t getting a look at the point. Or Stralman, who has history with Scott Arniel.
Per Katie Strang, defenseman Michael Del Zotto will be returning to the lineup tomorrow night in Dallas. Del Zotto had been a healthy scratch for the past three games. The Rangers went 1-2 in that span, scoring just two goals (both on the powerplay) while allowing three goals.
Justin Falk, who had been replacing Del Zotto in the lineup, could be the odd-man out tomorrow. Per Strang, AV is unsure if he will sit Falk or John Moore.
Per Andrew Gross, Rick Nash is good to go and will play tonight. He will take J.T. Miller’s spot in the lineup, as Miller will be a healthy scratch with Michael Del Zotto. Nash had been out since the third game of the season with a concussion.
Per Steve Zipay, J.T. Miller will be back in the lineup tonight against the Penguins. Brandon Mashinter will sit to make room for Miller in the lineup. Mashinter played very little in the loss to Anaheim.
Per Larry Brooks, captain Ryan Callahan appears to be returning tonight against Anaheim. Cally suffered a broken thumb a few weeks ago in Washington, and was scheduled to be out for 3-4 weeks. A return tonight would put him right on the three week return date.
To make room for Cally in the lineup J.T. Miller will be a healthy scratch. Coach Alain Vigneault noted that Miller had a tough game in Carolina, which is the reason for his removal from the lineup. Taylor Pyatt still remains in the lineup.
Per Andrew Gross, Mats Zuccarello will be a healthy scratch tonight in Philly. Brandon Mashinter will play on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Derek Dorsett. AV noted (per Gross) that Zucc being a scratch is performance based, and not a case of wanting a tougher presence in the lineup against the Flyers.
Per Pat Leonard, Henrik Lundqvist did not practice today due to a “minor” issue. In another tweet later, Leonard noted that Alain Vigneault is not 100% certain that Hank can play on Thursday in Philadelphia.
Also per Leonard, AV switched up his lines once more, which answers some questions from yesterday’s confusing combos:
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Brad Richards
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-J.T. Miller
Taylor Pyatt-Brian Boyle-Jesper Fast
Mats Zuccarello-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett
PP1: Del Zotto-Richards, Kreider-Stepan-Brassard
PP2: McDonagh-J. Moore, Pouliot-Miller-Boyle
Zuccarello, who has been struggling to start the season, has been placed on the fourth line and removed from the powerplay completely. This at least answers questions about the second line and answers questions about kids on the fourth line. People will still have problems with Pyatt ahead of Zucc, but it’s not like Zucc is playing infinitely better than Pyatt and deserves to be a spot up in the lineup.