After an off day on Thursday the Rangers held a full-team morning skate Friday at Madison Square Garden in preparation for this evening's tilt against the Sabres. The Rangers announced that there will be no lineup changes, and that Henrik Lundqvist will make his fourth straight start in goal, as the Blueshirts close out a season-high seven-game homestand.
Veteran forward Ruslan Fedotenko will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. Fedotenko, who has eight goals and 16 points in 65 games played this season, has scored just one goal in his last 16 games, and after the skate said that he is aware he needs to contribute more on the offensive side of the puck.
"If I don't deliver then I am not going to play, that's the bottom line," said Fedotenko. "You never want to be sitting, but I haven't scored as much and I feel like maybe I have been focusing too much on defense and not enough on offense. I'm not saying you sacrifice defense to make plays, I just need more of an emphasis on being more creative on offense."
Fedotenko, 33, notched ten goals and 25 points in 66 games a year ago, and has scored 168 goals in his NHL career. A solid two-way player, Fedotenko has won Stanley Cups with both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"He's been there, and he's been successful there," head coach John Tortorella said of Fedotenko's playoff experience. "He understands the intensity of it and how it ratchets up. I think it's something that's important, especially when you're talking about guys who have not done a lot of this. Right now I am looking at some different things, but he'll play again. I have a tremendous amount of faith in him."
Along with Fedotenko, Anton Stralman, Jeff Woywitka, and John Scott will be healthy scratches tonight, while Steve Eminger remains out with an undisclosed injury.
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